Stockade and Watchtower

views updated


STOCKADE AND WATCHTOWER (Heb. חוֹמָה וּמִגְדָּל, Ḥomah u-Migdal), type of settlement established in Palestine between 1936 and 1947 in planned surprise operations to provide immediate security against Arab attacks. The *Jewish National Fund had acquired large tracts of land in areas distant from Jewish population centers, where de facto possession was in jeopardy unless the land was settled and ordinary methods could not be used because of Arab antagonism. Convoys carrying hundreds of helpers, prefabricated huts, and fortifications set out at daybreak, protected by Jewish Settlement Police. By nightfall they completed the erection of the settlement, surrounded by a double wall of planks with a filling of earth and stones, dominated by a central tower equipped with a searchlight and electric generator to enable the countryside to be scanned for signs of hostility. The 118 settlements established in this way included Tirat Ẓevi, Nir David, and Sedeh Naḥum in the Beth-Shean Valley, Massadah and Sha'ar ha-Golan in the Jordan Valley, and Ḥanitah in Upper Galilee.


A. Bein, Return to the Soil (1952), 481–95; J. Weitz, Hitnaḥalutenu bi-Tekufat ha-Sa'ar (1947), index; Dinur, Haganah, 2, pt 3 (1965), index.

[Misha Louvish]