Gesher (Template:Lang-he-n, lit. Bridge) is a kibbutz in the Beit She'an Valley in northeastern Israel. Founded in 1939 by immigrants from Germany, it falls under the jurisdiction of Beit She'an Valley Regional Council. It is situated 10km south of kibbutz Deganya Aleph and 15km south of Tiberias. The population is approximately 500 inhabitants. It is named after the neighbouring bridge (hebr: Gesher) Naharayim, over the Jordan river.
The kibbutz was founded in 1939 on lands bought with the help of Edmond de Rothschild, by a group of Jews born in Palestine who were members of the youth movement Hanoar Haoved and a group of young Jews from Germany. They were later joined by Jewish immigrants from Poland, Germany, Austria and additonal Palestinian Jews. At the beginning, the kibbutz was located near the bridge Naharaim and was a "homa umigdal" Tower and stockade settlement.
Between April and May 1948 it was attacked by Iraqi forces and by the Arab Legion. Fifty children of the kibbutz were then evacuated for a year and half to a shelter in a German cloister in Haifa. In the end, the besieged Jews in the British police station, together with soldiers of the Golani Brigade, succeeded to stop the Arab attacks but the kibbutz was destroyed during combat. After the Israel Independence War the settlement was moved several hundred meters north west, near the Givat Hagamal.
During the War of Attrition between 1967 and 1970 the kibbutz was attacked with bombs, mines and gunfire by PLO Arab Palestinian fighters. In the 1990s it underwent a privatization process, preserving the collective model only in the areas of education, health, culture and leisure.
After the peace agreement between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan was founded on the ancient site of the kibbutz a kind of museum called 'the Yard of the Old Gesher" - Hatzar Gesher Hayeshana - which exhibits the history of the place and of the power station of Naharayim.
- Imanuel Reuveni - Lexicon of Holy Land - Eretz Israel Lexicon (Leksikon Eretz Israel - in Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth - Chemed Books Publishing house, 1999.
- Yuval Elezri (ed) - lexicon Mapa - Eretz Israel (in Hebrew) - Maps Concise Gazetteer of Israel Today 2003, Tel Aviv MAP Mapping and Publishing.
- Official website Template:He icon
Template:Beit She'an Valley Regional Council
he:גשר (קיבוץ) nl:Gesher pl:Gesher (kibuc)