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GESHER (Heb. גֶּשֶׁר), kibbutz in the Jordan Valley, Israel, near the confluence of the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad. Its land, belonging to the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, was previously settled by another group which later established itself permanently at *Ashdot Ya'akov. Gesher was taken over in 1939 by Youth Aliyah graduates from Germany joined by Israeli-born youth and settlers from various countries. In the War of Independence (1948) Gesher held out against a heavy bombardment when the Arabs attempted to cross the Jordan in order to reach Haifa. After the Six-Day War, it became a target of frequent artillery attacks from the other side of the Jordan. Gesher developed intensive farming and operated a gypsum plant. Subsequently, it initiated a joint venture with the Israeli Electric Corporation – a visitor's center with an audio-visual representation of Israel's early generation of electricity from the Yarmuk and Naharayim Rivers. In 2002 its population was 494. The name of the kibbutz, "Bridge," refers to a Roman bridge nearby and to modern railway and road bridges spanning the Jordan and Jarmuk.


[Efraim Orni]