KIRYAT ATA (Heb. קִרְיַת אָתָא), town with municipal council status in northern Israel, 9 mi. (14 km.) N.E. of Haifa. It was founded in 1925 as a rural settlement. Abandoned after the 1929 Arab riots, it was renewed in 1934 when one of the country's largest textile plants was erected there. In 1948, the town had 2,300 inhabitants and expanded quickly after the Israeli *War of Independence (1948), when the immigrant camp (ma'barah) Gilam was included in the municipal area and its inhabitants transferred to permanent dwellings. In 1967 Kiryat Ata received municipal status. The population steadily grew to 25,000 in 1969, 41,800 in the mid-1990s, and 48,800 in 2002. The municipal area is about 8 sq. mi. (20 sq. km.). Residents earn their living in local industry, commerce, and services or commute to work. The Ata textile plant closed down in 1985.
The name Kiryat Ata, originally Kefar Ata, is based on the Arabic denomination of the site (Kufrattā), which in turn is assumed to have its origin in Aramaic. Remnants of buildings, mosaic floors, and tombs of the late Roman and early Muslim period have been found.
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]