Coordinates: 31° 45' 52.94" N 34° 59' 58.60" E
Hartuv1 ('Mount of Goodness'). The London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, a missionary organization, purchased more than five-thousand dunams (in Ottoman Palestine a dunam equaled 900 square meters; 5,000 dunams equaled 1,112 acres) from the Spanish consul in Jerusalem who had earlier (in the 1870s) bought the land from the villagers of Artuf. The 1882 pogroms in Eastern Europe prompted the London Society to help Jewish refugees immigrate to Palestine and settle the land.
An initial cohort of twenty-four Jewish families formed Artuf colony; each family received 150 dunams of land to farm. The cultivation of the farmland was backbreaking work; there was no water and the poor quality of the soil produced poor harvests. In addition, the isolated location made life difficult. The Jews were required to attend Sunday services and send their children to the missionary school. However, most colonists continued to practice Judaism.
The Bulgarian Hibbat Zion movement2, consisting of Sephardic Jews of Bulgarian background, purchased the farmland from the London Society in 1895, renaming the colony Har-Tuv. Twelve Jewish Bulgarian families began farming the land. Five years later, a carriage service to Jerusalem was inaugurated.
Har-Tuv was destroyed during the 1929 Palestine riots; its residents fled to Jaffa. The following year saw the return of the residents, who rebuilt Har-Tuv. In December 1947, a truck belonging to the Jewish paramilitary organization Notrim3 was attacked on its way to Har-Tuv; its three passengers were murdered. Several months later, in March 1948, a resupply convoy was returning to Jerusalem from Har-Tuv when it was ambushed by Arabs, who killed eleven members of the convoy. Earlier in 1948, on 16 January, a convoy from Har-Tuv was on its way to Gush Etzion Kibbutz to resupply and reinforce the blockaded kibbutz when the convoy was attacked; thirty-five convoy members were killed4.
Leah Haber Gedalia
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Created: 5 Mar 2018
Last Modified: 03-26-2018
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