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By Efraim Orni

Atarot (Heb. עֲטָ רוֹת; "crowns") was a moshav north of Jerusalem, evacuated and destroyed during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. A small group of laborers settled on the site in 1914 but had to abandon it in the course of World War I. Another group of East European origin established the moshav in 1922 and was joined in the 1930s by immigrants from Germany.

The moshav withstood Arab assaults in the 1929 and 1936–39 riots. Atarot began to develop a model hill culture but suffered a setback when its best lands were expropriated by the British authorities for the Jerusalem airport. During the first stages of the war, Atarot provided Palmach units with a forward position, but on May 17, 1948, the isolated settlement had to be evacuated.

A year later, the settlers founded Benei Atarot near Lydda. Atarot remained in Jordanian territory, and almost no trace was found of the settlement when Israeli soldiers captured the site during the Six-Day War (1967). Together with the adjoining airport, it was included in the municipal boundaries of united Jerusalem, and an industrial area was developed there.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.