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Elat

aqaba red blockade gulf

Elat, or Eilat (pop. 19,600), town at the southern tip of Israel on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is Israel's only port, with direct access to East Africa and South Asia via the Red Sea. Established in 1948, it began to grow after 1956 when the Egyptian blockade on the Gulf of Aqaba was lifted. The blockade's resumption in 1967 precipitated the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War. Exports include textiles, citrus fruit, and manufactured goods; lumber and crude petroleum are among the major imports. Its warm, dry climate has made Elat a winter resort with the additional attraction of the nearby Red Sea and its tropical fish and corals.

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