Akhziv Nature Reserve

Situated on the northern coast of Israel, 15 kilometers north of Acre, Achziv is a national park within the municipal area of Nahariya. It is a former town, settled for about three millennia. It was first settled in the Middle Canaanite (Bronze) II period by the Phoenicians. Described in Tanach, as falling within territory assigned to the tribe of Asher, Joshua 19:29; Judges. 1:31; ‘And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher … And the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzibh.’ An Arab village, Az-Zeeb, was established on the site during the Mamluk period.

Achziv was originally a Phoenician city, Ekdippa, Έκδιππα in Ancient Greek, Achziv (Cheziv) is mentioned in Jewish rabbinic writings, for example Midrash Vayikra Rabba 37:4. King David added the city into his Kingdom, but King Solomon returned it to Hiram as part of the famous pact. Additionally, Achziv is mentioned in the Babylonian Talmud, and by the relating Middle Age commentators, concerning the location of Achziv in regards to historical borders of Israel.

The Assyrians conquered the city at the time of the Sancheriv invasions. During the reign of the Seleucids, the border was established at Rosh HaNikra, just north to Achziv, making it a border city and under the control of Acre. The port named Cziv which is 14 km north of Acre, is mentioned by Josephus Flavius, and later by Eusebius. During the Crusader period, the site was known as Casle Umberti or Casal Humberti, after Hubert of Pacy which held the casale and is documented in 1108. European farmers settled there in 1153 under Baldwin III. In 1232 it was the site of the Battle of Casal Imbert between German and French Crusaders as part of the War of the Lombards.

Remnants of ancient Achziv, now known as Tel Achziv, are located on a sandstone mound between two creeks, Kziv creek on the north and Shaal creek on the south, close to the border with Lebanon.

The Arab village of Az-Zeeb was established during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. In 1946, the Jewish Resistance Movement attempted to blow up the railroad bridge over the creek at Achziv in an operation known as Night of the Bridges. A monument to the 14 soldiers killed there was erected on the site.

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