|Name meaning||the Hollow|
|Date of depopulation||November 4-5, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
Al-Jura (Arabic: الجورة) was a Palestinian village that was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, located approximately two kilometers west of Majdal (both within the boundaries of present-day Ashkelon, Israel). In 1945, the village had a population of approximately 2,420 mostly Muslim inhabitants. Though defended by the Egyptian Army, al-Jura was nevertheless captured by Israel's Givati Brigade in a November 4, 1948 offensive as part of Operation Yoav.
A 1998 estimate of the population of refugees today who are descendants of those who fled al-Jura, placed the figure at 17,000. The founder and spiritual leader of the Hamas organization Ahmed Yassin was born in al-Jura.
The Syrian Sufi traveler al-Bakri al-Siddiqi visited Al-Jura in the mid-eighteenth century, before leaving for Hamama. In 1863 the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called Djoura, and found it to have three hundred inhabitants.
In the late nineteenth century, the village of Al-Jura was situated on flat ground at the outskirts of Ascalon. It was rectangular in shape and the residents were Muslim. They had a mosque and a school which was founded in 1919. By the 1940s the school had 206 students.
At the end of November 1948, Coastal Plain District troops carried out sweeps of the villages around and to the south of Majdal. Al-Jura was one of the villages named in the orders to the IDF battalions and engineers platoon, that the villagers were to be expelled to Gaza, and the IDF troops were "to prevent their return by destroying their villages." The path leading to the village was to be mined. The IDF troops were ordered to carry out the operation "with determination, accuracy and energy". The operation took place on 30 November. The troops found "not a living soul" in Al-Jura. However, the destruction of the villages was not completed immediately due to the dampness of the houses and the insufficient amount of explosives.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 369
- Morris, 2004, village #307, p xix. Also gives the cause for depopulation
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 150. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 116
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 116.
- Guérin, 1869, p. 134
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 236. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 116
- Mills, 1932, p. 4
- Coastal Plain District HQ to battalions 151 and ´1 Volunteers`, etc., 19:55 hours, 25 Nov. 1948, IDFA (=Israeli Defence Forces and Defence Ministry Archive) 6308\49\\141. Cited in Morris, 2004, p.517
- Coastal Plain HQ to Southern Front\Operations, 30 Nov. 1948, IDFA 1978\50\\1; and Southern Front\Operations to General Staff Divisions, 2. Dec. 1948, IDFA 922\75\\1025. Cited in Morris, 2004, p.518
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1883). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 3. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Guérin, Victor (1869). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine.. 1: Judee, pt. 2. (p146: refer to Stanhope visit 1815, III, 152-169) 25 May
- Hadawi, Sami (1970), Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine, Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center
- Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992), All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, ISBN 0-88728-224-5
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (2004), The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.