HAREL (Heb. לֵארַה), kibbutz in the Jerusalem corridor, east of Huldah, affiliated with Kibbutz Arẓi ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir, founded in October 1948. Harel was established on a site where hard battles had been fought four months earlier (see Israel
*War of Independence
). The first settlers were
veterans of the Harel Brigade who had fought in the area and in Jerusalem; they were later joined by immigrants from various countries. Farming was based on deciduous fruit orchards, field crops, grapevines, etc. In more recent years the kibbutz set up a winery together with private investor, producing wines from the kibbutz's grapes. In addition, Harel owns a guesthouse with 33 rooms. Carob plantations and large forests have been planted in the vicinity, in the middle of which stands the Harel panorama tower. In the mid-1990s, the population was approximately 70, doubling in size to 145 by 2002.