ALFEI MENASHEH (Heb. אַלְפֵי מְנַשֶּׁה), urban community in western Samaria, close to central Israel. The settlement is located on a hill, 1,082 ft. (330 m.) above sea level, and has an area of 1.8 sq. mi (4.6 sq. km.). In 1981 Ezer *Weizman, then secretary of defense, and Ariel *Sharon, secretary of agriculture, initiated the "seven star" plan to establish seven settlements at strategic points near the borders of Judea and Samaria. In 1983 the first settlers arrived at Alfei Menasheh. At the beginning, the community was part of the regional council of Samaria. In 1985 it received municipal council status. In the following years it came under terrorist attack. In 1987, in one such attack, the Moses family was decimated: the mother and one of the children were killed and the father and two other children severely injured. Between 1987 and 1989, three additional terror incidents rocked the community. The precarious security situation served to curtail the settlement's development, but in the 1990s it recovered and new neighborhoods were built. In 2002 its population was 5,250. The name of the settlement derives from Deuteronomy 33:17, which speaks of "the thousands of Manasseh."
[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.