MA'ALEH HA-ḤAMISHAH (Heb. מַעֲלֵה הַחֲמָשּׁה, "Ascent of the Five"), kibbutz in the Judean Hills, 8 mi. (13 km.) W. of Jerusalem, affiliated to Iḥud ha-Kevuẓot ve-ha-Kibbutzim, founded in 1938 as a *stockade and watchtower settlement by pioneers of the Gordonia youth movement from Lodz, Poland. In the weeks before setting up their village, the group, then living at nearby Kiryat Anavim, worked in reclaiming the site and planting forests. Arab terrorists killed five members of the group in an ambush. The name of the new kibbutz was chosen to commemorate them. In the Israeli *War of Independence (1948), it held out in its advanced position against the Arab Legion, which had taken possession of the nearby "Radar Camp." Until the *Six-Day War, the armistice border passed close by. On the evening of June 5, 1967, Israel forces launched an attack from the kibbutz on the Radar Camp, thereby opening the operations which eventually brought all of Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria under Israel control. The kibbutz economy was based on deciduous fruit orchards and vineyards, dairy cattle and poultry, on a sweets and confectionery factory, a large rest home, and a public swimming pool. Extensive forests were planted in the vicinity. Its population in 1968 was 290. By the mid-1990s, the population had expanded to approximately 480, but in by 2002 it had dropped to 347 inhabitants, with the economy based mainly on the rest home and other branches liquidated.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.