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Seafaring people from one of the islands on the shores of the northern Mediterranean who emigrated to the coast of Canaan in the 12th century B.C.E. The Philistines dominated the fertile southern coastal plain, which included five cities: Gat and Ekron in the interior, and the three ports of Ashod, Ashkelon, and Gaza. They were the implacable enemies of Israel and continued to harass their neighbors until David reduced them to a minor, mainly commercial role.

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