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BET(H)-SHITTAH (modern Bet ha-Shittah; Heb. בֵּית הַשִׁטָּה), biblical locality mentioned in the description of the Midianites' flight after their defeat by Gideon (Judg. 7:22). Some scholars locate it at the small village of Shataʾ (site of a prison), east of the hill of Moreh but most prefer to place it in the immediate vicinity of the Jordan. There is a kibbutz in the Valley of Jezreel named after the biblical locality of Beth-Shittah. The kibbutz is affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad. Bet ha-Shittah was founded in 1935 by sabras and pioneers from Germany, later joined by immigrants from other countries. In 1968 Bet ha-Shittah had 885 inhabitants, maintaining its size over the years (pop. 900 in 2002). Its economy was based on farming (field crops, particularly cotton, fodder, fishery, dairy cattle, and other farm products) and industrial enterprises such as farm machinery and preservatives, the latter plant subsequently sold to the Osem food company. The kibbutz also operated a small shopping center at the nearby road junction.


[Efraim Orni]