Lighthouses of Israel

Like all of the Middle East, the territory of Israel was part of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire for four centuries until World War I. The area was occupied by British troops in 1917, and after the end of the war it became part of the British Mandate of Palestine. The state of Israel proclaimed its independence in 1948, when British forces were withdrawn.

Israel has a coastline about 150 km (90 mi) long facing west on the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, at its southern tip the country has a very short coastline on the Gulf of Aqaba, an arm of the Red Sea. The most important ports are Haifa and Ashdod on the Mediterranean and Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Lighthouses in the country are operated by the Shipping and Ports Administration, an agency of the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety. There are historic light stations at Yafo (Jaffa), Tel Aviv, Har Karmel (Mount Carmel) and Akko (Acre). More information about them would certainly be welcome.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume E of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113 for the Mediterranean Sea and 112 for the Gulf of Aqaba.

General Sources
Israeli Lighthouses
Danny Dorfman's outstanding collection of photos on Flickr.com.
Online List of Lights - Israel
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
World of Lighthouses - Israel
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lighthouses in Israel
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Light Towers and History Along the Israeli Coast
This Hebrew-language article in Sailing News has the historical information also found in Wikipedia's articles.
Leuchtürme Asiens, Australiens, and Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.


Akko (Acre) Light, Akko, May 2009
Wikimedia public domain photo by Almog

Eilat (Gulf of Aqaba) Lighthouse
* Eilat
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); white flash every 10 s. Approx. 9 m (30 ft) round 5-legged skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a round 1-story equipment room. Lighthouse painted white with black trim and a black band around each of the legs. Dorfman's photo is at right, Wikimedia has several distant views, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a bluff on the west side of the Gulf of Aqaba about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) northeast of the Egyptian border and 7 km (4.5 mi) southwest of the port of Eilat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ISR-002; Admiralty E6042; NGA 112-30436.

Ashkelon and Ashdod Lighthouses
* Ashkelon (Ashqelon) Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two green flashes every 6 s. Approx. 18 m (56 ft) multistage unpainted concrete tower. A photo is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Ashkelon, in southwestern Israel, is the site of a large power plant and a desalinization plant, and it is the Mediterranean terminal of the Trans-Israel oil pipeline. Located at the end of the main breakwater at Ashkelon. Site and tower closed. Admiralty E5971; NGA 113-21272.2.
* Ashkelon (Ashqelon) Marina North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; two green flashes every 5 s. Approx. 18 m (56 ft) multistage white tower mounted on a 2-story round concrete base. Wikimedia has several photos, Lightphotos.net has a photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of the Ashkelon Marina. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E5970.5; NGA 113-21272.1.
Eilat Light
Eilat Light, Eilat, September 2010
Flickr photo copyright Danny Dorfman; used by permission
Ashdod
1966. Active; focal plane 76 m (249 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 42 m (138 ft) cylindrical concrete tower carrying an array of communications gear as well as a lantern. The upper half of the lighthouse is round and is painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; the lower half is triangular and is unpainted gray concrete. The lantern and lens were transferred from the Yafo (Jaffa) Light (next entry). Dorfman has three good photos, Wikimedia has a portfolio of photos, a 2009 closeup is available, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv, has a large modern harbor and has become Israel's largest port. Located on Yona Hill on the south side the harbor of Ashdod. Site and tower closed, but the lighthouse can be seen from many points in the area. ARLHS ISR-001; Admiralty E5967; NGA 113-21260.

Tel Aviv District Lighthouses
* Yafo (Jaffa) (3) (Range Rear?)
1936 (station established 1862). Reactivated (?); focal plane unknown; white light, pattern unknown. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and four ribs. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. The original lantern and lens were transferred to the Ashdod lighthouse in 1966. Remi Jouan's photo is at right, Dorfman has several photos, Yehuda Cohen also has a good closeup photo, and Wikimedia has a nice view of the lighthouse in context, but Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view of the neighborhood. The general-purpose Jaffa Light was deactivated in 1966, but the tower continued to be well maintained as a daybeacon. The fresh paint seen in recent photos makes it appear very likely that the light has been reactivated, probably replacing a pair of small range lights described by the Admiralty and NGA light lists. (Nadav Gilad's 2008 panoramic view of the harbor entrance shows no trace of the range lights.) Findlay's 1879 light list gives 1862 as the date of the first lighthouse. Huelse has a historic postcard view of the 1875 Jaffa lighthouse, which was built by French engineers for the Ottoman Empire. Jaffa (now called Yafo) is the historic port associated with Jerusalem. The ancient city is now a district within the much larger modern city of Tel Aviv, and in 1966 port operations were relocated to Ashdod. The old harbor now serves only small craft. Located on the historic Jaffa waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS ISR-005; Admiralty E5962.5 (?); NGA 113-21258 (?).
* Tel Aviv (Reading, Tel Kudadi, Hayarkon, Auja)
1935. Inactive since 1965. Approx. 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, mounted on a round stone foundation. Lighthouse painted white with four black panels mounted or painted on each face. Wikimedia has an excellent 2013 photo, Dorfman has several 2009 photos, another good photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Built by British authorities, this lighthouse stands on the north side of the entrance to the HaYarkon (Yarkon) River in the area of Tel Kudadi, a stronghold from the Biblical period of Israel's history. The modern harbor of the Reading Power Plant is just to the north. The lighthouse was apparently restored sometime in 2011-12, and it may have been reactivated, although it has not been added to international light lists. The black panels on the tower recall the historic black and white checkerboard daymark pattern. The boardwalk seen in the recent photos was built in 2007 as part of a larger project to clean up the river and make it accessible to the public. Located on the beach near the foot of the Tel Aviv South Breakwater. Site open, tower closed. ex-Admiralty E5958.
* [Herzliya Marina]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) white concrete post with gallery. Wikimedia has David Shay's photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of the marina at Herzliya, north of Yafo. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty E5957; NGA 113-21238.
Yafo Light
Yafo (Jaffa) Light, Yafo, October 2006
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Remi Jouan

Central District Lighthouse
* Mikhmoret (Michmoret)
Date unknown (1960s?). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two flashes, one white and one red, every 15 s. Light mounted on the roof of a 1-story concrete building supported by concrete piles. The building is painted dark blue with white trim. The building is part of the Mevo'ot Yam Nautical School. Dorfman has a closeup photo, another photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the north side of the harbor in Mikhmoret, about 7 km (4.5 mi) north of Netanya. ARLHS ISR-006; Admiralty E5956; NGA 113-21236.

Haifa District Lighthouses
* Har Carmel (Mount Carmel, Stella Maris) (5?)
1928 (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 179 m (587 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery rising from the seaward end of a 3-story building. The building is painted a light buff color; the lantern is painted with red and white vertical stripes, but the dome is black. This powerful light has a range of 55 km (35 mi). Dorfman's photo is at right, Trabas has a photo, another closeup photo is available, Huelse has a postcard view of the 1864 lighthouse, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Mount Carmel is one of the most prominent landmarks along the Israeli coast, rising southeast of the seaport of Haifa. The lighthouse is often called the Stella Maris lighthouse because it is near the Carmelite Monastery of Stella Maris (Star of the Sea). Arne Berge has a view of the lighthouse and the monastery. The lighthouse building is in use by the Israeli military and is closed to the public. The earlier history of this light station is complex, and there is evidence of lights at several locations on the mountain at different times. The Fresnel lens of the lighthouse is on display at the Israel National Maritime Museum in Haifa. Located on the seaward face of Har (Mount) Carmel about 1.5 km (1 mi) east of Haifa. Site and tower closed, but the building can be viewed from nearby. ARLHS ISR-004; Admiralty E5945; NGA 113-21212.
Haifa Lee Breakwater (2)
2007(?). Active; focal plane unknown; red flash every 3 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) triangular skeletal radar tower standing behind a 2-story concrete harbor control building. Jeremy Sham has a good view, the tower is seen at the right of a 2007 photo of the harbor and at the left in a 2009 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Trabas has a photo showing much older buildings, including a square concrete harbor control tower that formerly carried the light. The lee breakwater has been completely redeveloped as a containership terminal. Located at the end of the quay serving as the inner breakwater of Haifa harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty E5947; NGA 113-21220.

Har Carmel (Stella Maris) Light, Haifa, July 2009
Flickr photo copyright Danny Dorfman; used by permission

Northern District Lighthouse
* Akko (Acre) (2)
1912 (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two white flashes every 7 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and four ribs. Lighthouse painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern; lantern dome is gray metallic. A small 1-story equipment building, painted white, stands next to the tower. A photo is at the top of this page, Dorfman has a good 2009 photo, Trabas has a photo, Q.T. Luong has a photo of the seawall and light station, and Google has a satellite view. This is the only Israeli lighthouse surviving from the Ottoman era. The lighthouse is built atop the city's ancient walls on the site of an Ottoman watch tower. The ancient city of Acre, now called Akko, is built at the north entrance to the Bay of Haifa, on a hook-shaped peninsula that shelters a small harbor. The lighthouse is located on the seaward face of the peninsula. Site open (the lighthouse is fenced but can be viewed from outside the fence.) Tower closed. ARLHS ISR-003; Admiralty E5944; NGA 113-21204.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Lebanon | East: Jordan | South: Egypt Red Sea | West: Egypt Mediterranean Sea

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Posted June 4, 2007. Checked and revised December 9, 2013. Lighthouses: 10. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.