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Shephelah - which means "lowland" - is a designation usually applied to the region of low hills between Palestine's central mountain range and the coastal plains of Philistia. The area is fertile, and a tempered climate prevails there. Shephela was one of the regions given to the tribe of Judah.

In each of the Shephelah valleys, prominent cities developed. Ajalon, the northernmost valley, was guarded by Tel Gezer. Sorek and Elah valleys were guarded by Beth-shemesh and Azekah, respectively. And to the south, the city of Lachish stood over the Lachish Valley. These strategic cities were the location of many battles.