Were the Habiru the Biblical Hebrews?

The “Habiru” come on the scene in Mesopotamia as agricultural workers, slaves, rebels, mercenary soldiers, marauders, slaves, and so on, which lead them to a marginal and sometimes lawless life on the fringes of society. The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land  tells us that, “Once settled, the Habiru served mainly as mercenaries or laborers in their new countries, but they were never considered to be citizens and their status differed from that of the local inhabitants, from whom they usually lived apart in quarters specially assigned to them.”