Israel Sites – Eilat
Eilat (Getting Israel Together)
Over the years, Eilat has developed into a tourist center, attracting people to the ever-present sun, to the many hiking trails and to the sea with its world famous corals.Today, Eilat is a thriving town and one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a paradise for those who love the water and water sports. Here you can laze around the beach or take an excursion in a glass bottom boat, go snorkeling or visit the Coral World Underwater Observatory and Aquarium or just stay in your airconditioned hotel room and admire the view from your window.
Contrary to popular belief Eilat is not just another pretty town there’s actually a thriving residential area, a lot of history and interesting sites to see.
With the exception of a lonely police station, no buildings or population existed here until the decision to create Eilat in the 1950’s.
This decision was made for two main reasons:
1) In order to establish a permanent Israeli presence in this small piece of territory between Jordan and Egypt.
2) In order to provide a port for shipping to destinations in Eastern Africa and Asia via the Red Sea.
Eilat’s port facilities were expanded during the 1960’s, in order to serve the shipping of Iranian oil. This oil was brought by tankers to Eilat, piped across the Negev to Ashkelon on the Mediteranean coast, transferred back to tankers and then shipped to Europe. However, since the Khomeini revolution which stopped the flow of petroleum, and the reopening of the Suez Canal, Eilat’s port has suffered greatly. Thus Eilat must constantly struggle against adverse conditions – economic, political and natural. Yet, Eilat must continue to exist in order to maintain Israel’s access to the sea and to strengthen national security on the remote southern border.