Ein Gev was founded in 1937 as a ‘tower and stockade’ settlement, a settlement in which the first structures, an observation tower and a wall, were completed in one day in order to protect the settlers from Arab attacks at night. Ein Gev was the first settlement established on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and until the road to it was completed access to the settlement was only by boat.
From its inception it was subject to frequent attacks. Though the stockade provided immediate protection, the attacks made farming difficult. For this reason, Ein Gev turned to the lake for a livelihood and developed a fishing industry. During the War of Independence, the Syrians attacked Ein Gev from Sussita. The kibbutz was cut off and the children were evacuated by boat. A member who concealed her pregnancy in order to remain and defend the kibbutz died in battle. She was the inspiration for the sculpture in the memorial court. The armistice agreement after the State of Independence designated the entire circumference of the Sea of Galilee as a demilitarized zone within Israel’s borders. Almost immediately however, Syrian forces occupied the zone down to the eastern shore, and Ein Gev became the northernmost Israeli point east of the Sea of Galilee until the Six Day War in 1967.Today the kibbutz uses sonar to locate schools of fish and catches about 350 tons a year. In addition to fishing and tourism, Ein Gev has a dairy herd and chicken coop, and cultivates bananas, mangos and dates, and raises ostriches for their hides.
Near Ein Gev archaeologists have uncovered prehistoric finds over 17,000 years old. Among the discoveries is a 12,000-year old female skeleton, now considered the ‘senior member’ of the kibbutz. An Israelite town dating from the tenth century BCE was uncovered on the kibbutz grounds. The town was damaged and rebuilt several times during the wars between the Kingdom of Israel and the Arameans, and destroyed by the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III in 733 BCE.
Attractions: Fish restaurant; Kibbutz Experience ‘train’ tour of kibbutz; holiday village open year round.
Location: Highway 92
Tel: Restaurant – 06 758035 ; Cruise – 721831; Holiday Village – 752540.