|o Type||City (from 1996)|
|o Mayor||Yehiel Zohar|
|o Total||5,626 dunams (5.626 km2 or 2.172 sq mi)|
|o Density||6,300/km2 (16,000/sq mi)|
Netivot was founded in 1956. Initially a ma'abara, it was later transformed into a development town. The first residents were immigrants from Morocco and Tunisia. In the 1990s, they were joined by immigrants from Russia and Ethiopia. For many years, Netivot suffered from high unemployment. Since 2008, Netivot has been the target of Grad missile attacks from Gaza. In 2012, a rocket exploded near a school in the city.
In 2001, the ethnic make-up of the city was 99.9% Jewish, with no significant Arab population, and the population was evenly divided between males and females. The city ranked relatively low in the socio-economic index (3 out of 10). In the wake of Operation Solomon, Netivot absorbed a large number of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.
By the end of 2009, Netivot had a population of 26,700.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, there were 22 schools and 4,243 students in the city: 16 elementary schools with 3,053 students, and 11 high schools with 1,190 students. 43.1% of 12th grade students were entitled to a Bagrut matriculation certificate in 2001. Netivot schools have been chosen for a special pilot project in which elementary school children build their own mini-robots.
In 2011, Netivot hosted a robotics festival sponsored by the international organization FIRST - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. First, second, and third graders at the Noam Eliyahu religious school in Netivot spend eight hours a week studying science and robotics at Lehava, the municipal science center.
The Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev (MCLN) runs a two-year community-based leadership program in Netivot.
Netivot is known for being the home of Jewish mystics and as a popular pilgrimage site. The growth of mysticism and sacred sites in Netivot led to it being dubbed the "Varanasi of Israel". The most prominent rabbis in Netivot include Baruch Abuhateizra, Yaakov Israel Ifergan and Yoram Abergel. On the anniversary of the Baba Sali's death, thousands of pilgrims come to Netivot to visit his tomb.
Eleven local newspapers are published in the city.
Two additional neighborhoods with a total of 3,600 new housing units are planned for Netivot. They are expected to double the city's population. Two large supermarkets are also planned for the city, in addition to the seven already built there.
There are 24 plants and factories located in a nearby industrial park, mostly in food processing, metals, plastics, and construction sectors. There are an additional 15 factories located in the city in some of the same sectors as above, and also chemical and mineral sectors.
Media related to Netivot at Wikimedia Commons