A nomadic people, largely Semitic, whose name means outsiders". This name was applied to nomads fugitives bandits and workers of inferior status; the word is etymologically related to "Hebrew and the relationship of the Habiru [and the Hyksos people which included the Habiru] to the Hebrews has long been debated. The Habiru appear to have established a military aristocracy in Palestine, infiltrating the area during the Middle Bronze Age, bringing to the towns new defenses and new prosperity (as well as Egyptian culture) without interrupting the basic character of the local culture. The Habiru survived the destruction of Megiddo, Jericho, and Tell Beit Mirsim that followed the Egyptians' expulsion of the Hyksos into Palestine at the end of the Middle Bronze Age (c 1550). They were ancestral to the Israelites.