GESHER HA-ZIV (Heb. גֶּשֶׁר הַזִּיו), kibbutz in the northern Coastal Plain (Acre Valley) of Israel, N. of nahariyyah , affiliated with Ihud ha-Kibbutzim. It was founded in 1949 by members of the former kibbutz Bet ha-Aravah evacuated during the War of Independence (1948). The founding members, some from Central Europe and some Israeli-born, were later joined by pioneers from North America, South Africa, and other countries. The kibbutz engaged in highly intensive farming (avocado and banana plantations, citrus groves, field crops, and poultry) and had guest rooms and a gas station. The regional school of the area's settlements was located in the kibbutz. In 1968 its population was 328, rising to 491 in 2002. Gesher ha-Ziv, meaning "Bridge of Splendor," commemorates a unit of 14 Haganah men who fell in the area on June 17, 1946, when they blew up a bridge over the Keziv River, during the struggle against the British; the name also refers to the nearby ancient city achzib . (Efraim Orni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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