MISHMAR HA-NEGEV (Heb. מִשְׁמַר הַנֶּגֶב; "Guard of the Negev"), kibbutz in southern Israel, 12 mi. (20 km.) N.W. of Beersheba, affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad. It was one of the eleven Jewish settlements established in one night (Oct. 6, 1946) in the south and Negev as a continuation of the "tower and stockade" principle. In the Israel *War of Independence (1948), the kibbutz constituted an important link with the isolated Negev settlements and served as a base for the Israel forces which captured Beersheba. Its members, numbering 462 in 1969, originated from Latin American countries, France, North Africa, Bulgaria, and other countries. In 1969 its economy was based on agriculture irrigated by the National Water Carrier, and on a plastics factory. In 2002 the population was 592, and it also operated an events center, shooting range, and gas station. The local archaeological museum displays artifacts from the vicinity where ancient *Gerar is supposed to have been located.
[Efram Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]