BENEI DAROM (Heb. בְּנֵי דָּרוֹם), moshav shittufi east of Ashdod, Israel, affiliated with the Ha-Po'el ha-Mizrachi Moshavim Association. It was founded in 1949 by members of kefar darom who had defended it during the War of Independence, until it fell and remained within the Egyptian-controlled Gaza Strip. In 1961 the settlers decided to change from the kibbutz to the moshav shittufi form of settlement. Some settlers originated from Germany and North America, others were born in Israel. Its economy was based on intensive farming including citrus orchards and irrigated field crops. Later it added pasta and preservative factories and a visitor's center for tourists. In 1968 its population was 144, doubling to around 300 in the mid-1990s and maintaining its size into the 21st century. (Efraim Orni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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