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Geography of Israel: Bet Zayit

Bet Zayit is a moshav west of Jerusalem, affiliated with Ha-Mo'azah ha-Hakla'it association. Bet Zayit was founded in 1949 by immigrants from Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary. Later, immigrants from Egypt also settled in the village. Its economy was based on fruit orchards, vegetables, poultry and other farm products. Bet Zayit lies on the fringe of the Jerusalem Forest Park and operates a swimming pool, which has made the area largely a vacationing spot for families. Near the village is the Ein Kerem dam built to store winter flood waters. The name literally means "house of the olives," and refers to the extensve olive groves on the slopes around the village. Dinosaur footprints were found in the area. A place by the same name is mentioned in the book of the Maccabees, but it stood further north, possibly at the site of the Arab village Bir al-Zayt, north of Ramallah.

Sources: Copyright © 2002 Gems in Israel All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.