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ḤAMADYAH (Heb. חֲמַדְיָה), kibbutz in the Beth-Shean Valley, affiliated with Ihud ha-Kibbutzim. It was first founded as a *Stockade and Watchtower settlement by a moshav group in 1939, but was taken over by kibbutz Ḥermonim in 1942. Their initial difficulties were considerable due to the hot and dry climate and their proximity to the then Arab town Beth-Shean. A security problem again arose after the Six-Day *War (1967) when Ḥamadyah underwent frequent artillery barrages from Transjordan. The kibbutz developed various agricultural branches, and opened two industrial enterprises for furniture (mainly doors) and plastics. Ḥamadyah was also co-owner of Ganei Huga, a water and recreation park located nearby. Ḥamadyah's name, meaning "God-cherished," was adapted from an adjacent Arab village named after the Turkish sultan ʾAbd al-Ḥamīd. Its population was 260 in 1968 and 347 in 2002.

[Efraim Orni /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]