Ṭīra, Al-

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ṬĪRA, AL- , Muslim-Arab village in central Israel, in the southern Sharon Plain N.E. of Kefar Sava. Al-Ṭīra is thought to be the relay station, Mutatio Betthar, mentioned by the fourth-century "Bordeaux Traveler." Under the *Mamluks (14th century) it was a wayfarers' inn (khān). The village expanded in the early part of the 20th century, as the spreading of Jewish settlements in its vicinity provided work opportunities and a market for its farm produce. Included within the State of Israel's borders, the village grew from 2,000 inhabitants in 1948 to 7,100 in 1968 and 19,300 in 2002, occupying an area of about 4 sq. mi. (10 sq. km.). Irrigation was introduced, farm branches were variegated, artisan shops and small industries established, and housing conditions greatly improved. Al-Ṭīra's agriculture was based mainly on citrus groves and other fruit orchards, and vegetable and field crops. In 1991 Al-Ṭīra received municipal status.

[Efraim Orni]