Solel Boneh (Hebrew: סולל בונה‎, lit. Paving and Building) is the oldest, and one of the largest, construction and civil engineering companies in Israel.[citation needed]

Solel Boneh
TypePublic company
IndustryConstruction, Civil engineering, Infrastructure, Roads and Logistics planning
Founded1921; 100 years ago (1921)
FounderThe Histadrut
HeadquartersRamat Gan,
Key people
Yehoshua Rapaport (CEO)
Uri Shani (head of directors)
Revenue1.7 billion USD in 2004[citation needed]
OwnerHousing & Construction Holding Company Limited


Historic Solel Boneh building in Jerusalem

During British rule (1921-1948)Edit

Solel Boneh was founded in 1921 in British-ruled Palestine, during the first conference of the Jewish trade union, the General Histadrut, under the name of Batz (בע"ץ‎), an acronym of Binyan veAvodot Tziburiot (בניין ועבודות ציבוריות‎, lit. Construction and Public Works). Its first project was to pave a road from Tiberias to Samakh, which is now part of Highway 90. The company was founded as a cooperative organisation in the spirit of socialist workers' groups. In 1923 it was declared bankrupt partly due to its supplementing wages to Jewish workers. It was resurrected by the Histadrut and the Zionist Organisation as a company named "Solel Boneh", based on the organisation but managed as a business corporation.[citation needed][1]

Solel Boneh had an integral role in major building activities in Mandate Palestine. Among other projects, the company built Tegart's wall in 1938. It also built the Tegart Forts and prefabricated the buildings for the Tower and stockade campaign.[2] During the Mandate era it built bridges, airfields, bases for the British Army[3] and army projects in Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain and Cyprus. It had branches in Beirut and Damascus.[4] In 1926, it employed 3,000 workers in various public works projects, included 139 women who worked in construction.[5] It had a policy of only employing Jews which was relaxed in 1954.[6]

Israel, trade union ownership (1948-1996)Edit

After statehood was achieved in 1948, Solel Boneh continued to play a major role in Israeli construction projects.[5]

Solel Boneh helped strengthen the Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and it built strongholds and systems to supply water, in practice becoming the basis of the first logistics unit in the IDF.[7]

In 1961, shares of Solel Boneh were first traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[citation needed]

Israeli firms, such as Solel Boneh, were often involved in building projects in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. One reason Operation Entebbe in 1976 was so well-planned was that the building in which the hostages were being held had been built by Solel Boneh, which still had the blueprints, and supplied them to the Israeli government.[citation needed]

During the years 1960-69, Solel Boneh carried out the construction of the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.[8]

Headquarters in Ramat Gan

In 1984, a subsidiary, Solel Boneh Building and Infrastructure, was founded under full control of the parent company.[citation needed] In 1989, control of Solel Boneh was passed on to the Housing & Construction Holding Company Limited (Shikun U'Binui).[dubious ]

Privatisation (1996)Edit

In 1996, control of that holding company, including Solel Boneh, was obtained by Ted Arison and after his death in 1999 later it was passed on to his daughter, Shari Arison.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ross, Andrew (2019) Stone Men. The Palestinians Who Built Israel. Verso. ISBN 978-1-78873-026-6 p. 37
  2. ^ Ross, Andrew (2019) Stone Men. The Palestinians Who Built Israel. Verso. ISBN 978-1-78873-026-6 p.40
  3. ^ Historical Dictionary of Israel
  4. ^ Ross, Andrew (2019) Stone Men. The Palestinians Who Built Israel. Verso. ISBN 978-1-78873-026-6 p. 41
  5. ^ a b Labor Enterprises in Israel: The Institutional Economy, vol. 2, Abraham Daniel
  6. ^ Ross, Andrew (2019) Stone Men. The Palestinians Who Built Israel. Verso. ISBN 978-1-78873-026-6 pp. 43, 61
  7. ^ "Solel Boneh |". Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  8. ^ Simhony, Naomi (2020-12-09). "The Central Synagogue of Nazareth Illit and its architectural dialogue with Nazareth's Basilica of the Annunciation". Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. 7 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1057/s41599-020-00660-2. ISSN 2662-9992.

Further readingEdit

  • Encyclopedia Judaica vol. 15 columns 92-93.
  • Solelboneh : Jewish Workers Cooperative Association for Public Works, Building and Manufacture ; works 1921 - 1924"". Jerusalem 1924. 82 pages with many photographs. Texts English, German and Hebrew.

External linksEdit