Ma’alot-Tarshiha (Heb. מַעֲלוֹת־תַּרְשִּׁיחָה; “Heights”) is an urban community in western Upper Galilee, 12 mi. E. of Nahariya, founded in 1957, to replace two ma’barot in the vicinity.
In 1963, Ma’alot was united with the Arab village Tarshiha lying over 1 mile further west. Tarshiha was a center of western Galilee, and antiquities found in its vicinity date back to the Roman and Byzantine periods.
In 1965, a municipal council was set up in Ma’alot-Tarshiha. Although several industrial enterprises (textile, plastic, food, and building material) existed at Ma’alot in 1969, its economy was not yet firmly established due to the high percentage of welfare cases and the inadequacy of a local labor force. Tarshiha’s economic situation was far better, as many of its inhabitants were employed as skilled laborers in the Nahariya and Haifa areas or maintained lucrative farmsteads.
Ma’alot was the target of an early terrorist attack, in May 1974, when 21 schoolchildren were killed.
In 1996, Ma’alot-Tarshiḥa received city status. Its area is 2.7 sq. mi. During the 1990s, the economic base of the city was expanded by the addition of 100 factories and workshops, but income remained well below the national average. From 1992, Ma’alot-Tarshiḥa has hosted the International Symposium for Stone Sculpturing.