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Jaffa

Jaffa (Hebrew: Yaffo; Arabic: Yafa), Israel, is a port city on the Mediterranean Sea and the historic gateway into Israel. It is mentioned several times in the Bible, and according to legend, was where the prophet Jonah sailed from on his way to Nineveh. It was an important city in the Arab middle east, prior to the establishment of Israel.

On March 7, 1799 Napoleon I of France captured Jaffa and his troops proceded to kill more than 2,000 Albanian captives.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the population of Jaffa had swelled considerably and new suburbs were built on the sand dunes along the coast. By 1909, the new Jewish suburbs north of Jaffa were reorganized as the city of Tel Aviv.

The United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 envisioned Jaffa remaining an Arab enclave in the Jewish state that was to be founded along the coast. In the fighting that broke out upon Israel's declaration of independence, Israeli troops took the city. Some of the Arab population fled, while others, particularly the poor segments living in Jaffa's Old City, remained. They form the basis of the modern Arab population of Jaffa. The refugees have not been allowed to return to their homes and are now scattered over the world, many living in refugee camps.

Modern Jaffa has a heterogeneous population of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The city is now an integral part of the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

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