Until the Six Day War, Gonen’s members were subjected to repeated shooting attacks by their Syrian neighbors; several members paid with their lives, while others were wounded. The Syrian soldiers also made a hobby of setting the kibbutz’ pastures on fire and stealing the cows that grazed in them. Gonen children and adults spent many hours in bomb shelters, due to periodic threats of bombardment.
Kibbutz Gonen’s income was for many years based on its various agricultural activities. The kibbutz became known for its thriving vegetable farm, fish ponds, cattle, turkeys and goats, its alfalfa and cotton fields, its unique poplar plantation, and its large and impressive apple and pear orchards. Later, two industrial plants were established that diverted some kibbutz members to manufacturing.
The kibbutz grew and flourished, and now has 140 members, as well as 150 residents and children. Its current agricultural enterprises include a grapefruit orchard, field crops, chickens and cattle, and these are supplemented by other industries such as a large automobile repair shop that serves the entire region and a minimarket that welcomes local customers and tourists alike.