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For the village near Jerusalem, see Al-Jura, Jerusalem.
al-Jura is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic الجورة
Name meaning the Hollow[1]
Subdistrict Gaza
Coordinates 31°39′54.14″N 34°33′15.15″E / 31.6650389°N 34.5542083°E / 31.6650389; 34.5542083Coordinates: 31°39′54.14″N 34°33′15.15″E / 31.6650389°N 34.5542083°E / 31.6650389; 34.5542083
Population 2,420 (1945)
Date of depopulation November 4-5, 1948[2]
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.


In 1596, Al-Jura was part of the Ottoman Empire, nahiya (subdistrict) of Gaza under the liwa' (district) of Gaza, named Jawra/Jawrit al-Hajja, and it had a population of 253.[3]

The Syrian Sufi traveler al-Bakri al-Siddiqi visited Al-Jura in the mid-eighteenth century, before leaving for Hamama.[4] In 1863 the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called Djoura, and found it to have three hundred inhabitants.[5]

In the late nineteenth century, the village of Al-Jura was situated on flat ground at the outskirts of Ascalon.[6] 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.[4]

At the time of the 1931 census, Al-Jura had 396 occupied houses and a population of 1752 Muslims and 2 Christians.[7]

1948 War[edit]

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".[8] 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.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 369
  2. ^ Morris, 2004, village #307, p xix. Also gives the cause for depopulation
  3. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 150. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 116
  4. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 116.
  5. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 134
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 236. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 116
  7. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 4
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ 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


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