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ḤAẒEVAH (Heb. חֲצֵבָה), moshav in the central Aravah Valley, southern Israel, about 23 mi. (38 km.) S. of Sodom, affiliated with Tenu'at ha-Moshavim. It was founded in 1965 as a *Naḥal border outpost settlement. The moshav lies about 3 mi. (5 km.) southeast of the spring, oasis, and ancient site by that name (Notitia Dignitatum, ed. by O. Seeck (1876) gives Eisiba, ʿAyn Ḥuṣub in Arabic), where Iron Age sherds were found. Under Roman rule, Ḥaẓevah was a border castle at an important road junction, and a military unit, the second cohort of the Gratiana Legion, was stationed there. Under the British Mandate, a police station was set up near the spring, which is the most abundant in the Israeli part of the Aravah Valley. In November 1948, the occupation of Ḥaẓevah by Israel forces lifted the siege of Sodom and led to the conquest of the whole Negev. In the early 1950s an experimental station, mainly for the propagation of forest trees, was established at the oasis. In the 1960s, the existence of rich groundwater reserves in the area was confirmed. Two small settlements exist nearer the spring, a village of private farmers and a group of immigrants, mainly from North America. The moshav economy was based on farming, mainly vegetables and hothouse flowers. In addition, fruit plantations, vineyards, and ornamental fish were cultivated. Tourism was another source of income, including guest rooms, catering, guided tours, and jeep treks. In the mid-1990s, the moshav's population was approximately 520, dropping to 420 in 2002.

[Efraim Orni /

Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]