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Ashkelon is a coastal city in the South District of Israel on the Mediterranean coast, 50 kilometres south of Tel Aviv, and 13 kilometres north of the border with the Gaza Strip. The ancient seaport of Ashkelon dates back to the Neolithic Age. In the course of its history, it has been ruled by the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Egyptians, the Israelites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Hasmoneans, the Romans, the Persians, the Arabs and the Crusaders, until it was destroyed by the Mamluks in 1270. The Arab village of al-Majdal or al-Majdal Asqalan, was established nearby the ancient site in the 16th century, under Ottoman's rule. In 1918, the Arab village of al-Majdal became part of the British Occupied Enemy Territory Administration and in 1920 became part of the Mandatory Palestine. In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, al-Majdal Ascalun was the forward position of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force based in Gaza. The village was occupied by Israeli forces on 5 November 1948, by which time most of the Arab population of 11,000 were forced to leave. Jews moved into the area later that year. The Israeli town was initially called Migdal Gaza, Migdal Gad and Migdal Ashkelon. In 1953, the nearby neighborhood of Afridar was incorporated and the name "Ashkelon" was readopted to the town. By 1961, Ashkelon was ranked 18th among Israeli urban centers with a population of 24,000. In 2010, the population of Ashkelon was 112,900. (via Freebase)