View of Neve Daniel from atop the water tower
Neve Daniel is a hilltop community, with stunning views of the surrounding Judean communties, located approximately twenty kilometers south of Jerusalem. It is apart of the area of Judea known as Gush Etzion (or Etzion Block in English). And Neve Daniel is located in what is belived to be the highest point in the entire region of Judea. Locals call the view “the thousand meter view.“ When standing at or near the water tower, which is the situated at the highest point in the community (which is open to the public), you can feel strong winds that rip through the air and can see across the surrounding areas of Israel. To the west, you can see the Mediterranean Sea; to the north, you can see Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the distance; and to the east, you are able to the Biblical mountains of Moab. Like all of the communities in the Gush Etzion, Neve Daniel is adjacent to a road called Derech Avot (Path of the Patriarchs). This road is actually ancient and got its name from the fact it was the road Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob traveled along while they resided in Israel during the biblical era.
Neve Daniel was named after the convoy of “Nabi Daniel”, which left on March 26, 1948 from the valley of the besieged Gush Etzion area to Jerusalem. The convoy included 35 supply trucks and 12 escort vehicles from the Palmach’s Fifth Battalion. Shaham, who was in charge of the convoy, took command of the convoy until it reached Jerusalem and was appointed by the General Staff to be responsible for the continuation of the road from Jerusalem to Gush Etzion. On the way back from Jerusalem to Gush Etzion, the Israeli convoy encountered a crowd of Arab rioters near the tomb of Sheikh Nabi Daniel, about two kilometers south of Bethlehem, in which 15 soldiers were killed and dozens wounded. The convoy was named after the place where the fighters were murdered. In July of 1982, when the community of Neve Daniel was formally established, the community was named after these brave soldiers.
The population in Neve Daniel recently doubled from 800 residents in 2001, to nearly 1,500 in 2008. In the 2015 census, it had risen again to 2,577 residents, comprised of over 450 families. Over the past few years, the community has absorbed a large number of new immigrant families. The majority of residents are religious Zionists. The residents of the community work in a wide variety of professions. Residents of the community include rabbis, academics, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, artists, doctors and computer professionals to name a few.
Neve Daniel is located within the jurisdiction of the Gush Etzion Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 2,278. The city is located in the portion of Israel that was designated for the tribe of Yehudah (Judah).