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Tzova is located in Israel
District Jerusalem
Council Mateh Yehuda
Affiliation Kibbutz Movement
Founded October 19, 1948
Founded by Palmach soldiers
Population (2007) 578

Tzova (Hebrew: צוֹבָה‎), also Palmach Tzova (Hebrew: פלמ"ח צובה‎) or Tsuba, is a kibbutz in the Judean Hills, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel. It is under the jurisdiction of the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2007, the kibbutz had a population of 578.


  • History 1
  • Economy 2
  • Archaeology 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Belmont crusader fortress

Tel Tzova was the site of an ancient Jewish settlement in the days of King David according to 2 Samuel 23:36. According to some scholars it can be dated back even further to the time of Joshua Bin-Nun, based on Joshua 15:59 in the Septuagint.

In 1170, a Crusader fortress, Belmont, was built there to guard the route to Jerusalem. Belmont was conquered by Saladin in 1191.

The adjacent Arab village of Suba was the scene of fierce fighting during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War due to its strategic location overlooking the road to Jerusalem. In late 1947 and early 1948, irregular forces of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood stationed in Suba attacked on Jewish traffic on the main highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The village was conquered by the Palmach during the night of July 12–13 as part of Operation Danny. Most of the inhabitants had fled during the fighting, and those who remained were expelled.[1] In October 1948, the "Ameilim" group of Palmach veterans established Kibbutz Misgav Palmach 1 km south of Suba, which was later renamed Tzova.[2]


The kibbutz runs a hotel overlooking the Jerusalem Hills and a children's amusement park called Kiftzuba featuring inflatables, bumper cars, a petting zoo, a games arcade, an indoor computer center and other attractions. The kibbutz also runs a boutique winery, with a variety of red and white wines, some of which have won gold and silver medals in international competitions.[3] Another source of income is the kibbutz Hebrew language ulpan.[4] Other economic branches are fruit and dairy farming and a factory that produces bulletproof windshields.[5]


In 1999, a cave believed to have been the cave of St. John the Baptist was discovered by Reuven Kalifon during archaeological excavations in the area of the kibbutz orchards, not far from Ein Karem, St. John's traditional birthplace.[6] In the 4th and 5th century CE, the cave was sanctified and used by Byzantine monks as a Christian holy place. On its walls are some of the earliest drawings known in local Christian art.[7] Structures outside the cave date to the Hellenistic period (2nd century BCE) and indicate that the cave was used as both a water reservoir and a place for bathing. Water was collected from the valley and channeled into the cave via a water-filtering basin. A sluice allowed some of the water to be channeled from the filtering basin into the fields.[8]

Archaeologists discovered a flight of 28 steps leading to an underground pool of water and 250,000 pottery shards, possibly the remnants of small water jugs used in the baptismal ritual. [9]

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Kibbutz website in English
  4. ^ Ulpan
  5. ^ Search for the Sacred
  6. ^ Ulpan
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Cave called John the Baptist
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