Bnei Darom

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Bnei Darom
בְּנֵי דָּרוֹם
Bnei Darom is located in Israel
Bnei Darom
Bnei Darom
Coordinates: 31°49′13.43″N 34°41′31.2″E / 31.8203972°N 34.692000°E / 31.8203972; 34.692000Coordinates: 31°49′13.43″N 34°41′31.2″E / 31.8203972°N 34.692000°E / 31.8203972; 34.692000
Council Hevel Yavne
Region Coastal plain
Affiliation Religious Kibbutz Movement
Founded 1949
Founded by Former residents of Kfar Darom

Bnei Darom (Hebrew: בְּנֵי דָּרוֹם, lit. Sons of the South) is a religious moshav shitufi in central Israel. Located near the Mediterranean coast, it falls under the jurisdiction of Hevel Yavne Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 400.

Bnei Darom was established in 1949 by members of the gar'in group Netivot Kfar Darom who had been forced out of Kibbutz Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip when it was occupied by the Egyptian Army during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. They were joined by another gar'in group, Morasha from the United States, though most of its members were not prepared for the kibbutz-style life in moshav shitufi and left, some of them to form Beit Hazon. Originally affiliated with Hapoel HaMizrachi, it joined the Religious Kibbutz Movement as a moshav shitufi in 2007.

Bnei Darom was founded just to the east of the former Palestinian village of Arab Suqrir, which was depopulated in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, but on land belonging to Isdud, according to Walid Khalidi.[1] According to Andrew Petersen, Bene Darom is on Arab Suqrir land,[2] with the remains of a khan located in a wooded park next to the water tower of the Israeli settlement.[2] The khan ruins were first described by Victor Guérin, who inspected them in 1863, and who wrote the following description:

This ruin is that of a Khan, now overthrown. It is 60 paces long by 37 broad. It contains a cistern and a small vaulted magazine, as yet not destroyed. Below the hillock covered by its ruins I remarked on the east a reservoir and viaduct, a well partly fallen in, but well built. A canal, traces of which are alone visible, carried the water of the reservoir to a fountain, now demolished, and situated in the plain near the road[2][3]

Clermont-Ganneau visited the place in 1873, and gave a very similar description, with the addition: "this must have been the site of some ancient "manzel", or posting-house, on the Arab route from Syria to Egypt.[4]

The site was registered as "an ancient monument" during the British Mandate of Palestine-period, although the owners were permitted to build a reservoir 20m square within the khan.[5]

Petersen, inspecting the place in 1994, found the place in much the same condition as during the British mandate period, except that the reservoir from the Mandate time is now replaced with a water-tower. Petersen described the remains as comprising a nearly 40m long wall, running north-south, with an entrance near the north end. A barrel-vaulted chamber, with an interior measuring 8.3m long and 3.8m wide, is located inside the khan, just south of the entrance.[6]

In 2002 excavations in the moshav found major remains from the Mamluk period.[7]


  1. ^ Khalidi, 1991, p. 81
  2. ^ a b c Petersen, 2001, p. 287
  3. ^ Guérin, 1869, pp.79 - 80, as given in translation by Conder and Kitchener, 1882, II, pp.425 - 426
  4. ^ Clermont-Ganneau, 1896, II, p.184. Also cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 287
  5. ^ ATG/284 (=Antiquities Reports (held in the Palestine Archaeological Museum)), cited on Petersen, 2001, p. 287
  6. ^ Petersen, 2001, p. 287-288
  7. ^ Barkan, 2006, Bene Darom Final Report


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