Meaning of 'AKKO in English


also spelled Acre, or 'Akka city, northwest Israel. It lies along the Mediterranean Sea, at the north end of the Bay of Haifa (formerly Bay of Acre). Its natural harbour was a frequent target for Palestine's many invaders over the centuries. The earliest mention of 'Akko is in an Egyptian text dating from the 19th century BC. The Bible (Judges 1) states that the city did not fall to the Jews under Joshua and his successors; the Canaanites and Phoenicians, Semitic peoples of Palestine and the Levant coast, long held the site. Later it was conquered by Alexander the Great (336 BC) and by the Egyptian king Ptolemy II Philadelphus (reigned 285246 BC), who renamed the city Ptolemais. 'Akko was a principal base of the Romans when they suppressed the Jewish revolt of AD 6670. Later conquerors include the Persians (614), the Arabs (638), and the crusaders (1104), who named the city St. Jean d'Acre and made it their last capital. Its capture in 1291 by the Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Khalil (reigned 129093) marked the end of crusader rule in the Holy Land. From 1516 to 1918 'Akko was, except for brief intervals, under the rule of the Ottoman Turks. In 1918 it was taken by British forces and subsequently became a part of Palestine under British mandate (1922). The city's old fortifications and citadel were strengthened by Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar (Arabic: The Butcher), the Turkish governor (17751804), and withstood Napoleon's siege (1799). Though the city had surrendered to the Egyptian viceroy Ibrahim Pasha in 1832, the citadel itself had never been successfully forced until May 3, 1948, when, as a British prison, it was taken by the Irgun Zvai Leumi, a Jewish guerrilla group. 'Akko was occupied by regular Israeli troops on May 17, 1948. Though most of the city's Arab inhabitants fled during the Israeli takeover, about 3,000 remained; the city's population in the late 20th century was about three-fourths Jewish. 'Akko's ancient port has silted up in modern times and has become secondary to Haifa's across the bay. It is used only by small fishing boats. Industries in modern 'Akko include a steel-rolling mill and match, tile, and plastic plants. Prominent structures, aside from the citadel, include the Great Mosque, built by Al-Jazzar and named for him; the Municipal Museum, housed in the Pasha's bathhouse; the Crypt of St. John, actually a crusader refectory; and several churches built on crusader foundations. Just north of the city is the tomb of Baha' Ullah, Iranian founder of the Baha'i faith. To the south is a large industrial zone; paint factories are found in the east. The city remains the major trade centre for Arab settlements in western Galilee and is becoming popular with tourists. 'Akko is the site of the Nautical College of the Israeli navy. Pop. (1993 est.) 44,200.

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