Al-Khayriyya

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Al-Khayriyya
Al-Kheiriyya.jpg
Old house in Al-Khariyya now inhabited by an Armenian family
Al-Khayriyya is located in Mandatory Palestine
Al-Khayriyya
Al-Khayriyya
Arabic الخيْريّة
Also spelled el-Kheiriyah, Kheiriya
Subdistrict Jaffa
Coordinates 32°2′13.54″N 34°49′40.64″E / 32.0370944°N 34.8279556°E / 32.0370944; 34.8279556Coordinates: 32°2′13.54″N 34°49′40.64″E / 32.0370944°N 34.8279556°E / 32.0370944; 34.8279556
Population 1420[1] (1945)
Area 13,672[1] dunams
Date of depopulation 25 April 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces

Al-Khayriyya (Arabic: الخيْريّة‎) was a Palestinian Arab village located 7.5 kilometers east of Jaffa. Its inhabitants fled in April 1948 as a result of a military assault by the Alexandroni Brigade of the pre-state Israeli forces during the 1948 Palestine war.[3] The village lands would later be used by Israel as the Hiriya landfill.[4]

History[edit]

At the time of Assyrian rule in Palestine, al-Khayriyya was known as Banai Berka and during Roman rule, it was known as by Beneberak.[5] Late Roman and Byzantine ceramics have been found in the area.[6]

In 1596, under Ottoman rule, the village, called Hayriyya, was in the nahiya of Ramla (liwa´ of Gaza), with a population of 154. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, fruits and sesame, as well as on other types of property, such as goats, beehives and vineyards.[7]

Later in the Ottoman period the village was called Ibn Ibraq, preserving the ancient name.[8][9][10]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village, then named Ibn Ibrak, as "an ordinary mud village".[11]

At the time of the British Mandate for Palestine the villagers changed the name of the village to al-Khayriyya to distinguish it from the neighbouring Jewish town of Bnei Brak.[12] The population was predominantly Muslim with twenty Christians. A school for boys was established in 1920, and it had a plot of 8 dunums of land attached to it for agricultural training. A school for girls was founded in 1945. By 1946, there were 183 boys and 69 girls in these schools.[12]

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Khairiyeh had a population of 546, 5 Christians and the rest Muslims.[13] In the 1931 census of Palestine the population of El Kheiriya had increased to 914, 5 Christians and the rest Muslims, in 212 houses.[14]

The villagers worked primarily in agriculture and animal husbandry. In 1944/45 a total of 3,359 dunams of village land was devoted to citrus and bananas and 2,355 dunums to cereals, while 1,275 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Numerous artesian wells supplied them with irrigation water.[12][15]

The Jewish settlement of Kfar Azar was established on what was traditionally village land in 1932.[12]

1948 War and State of Israel[edit]

According to the "Palestine Post", at early 1948, the village residents repeatedly attacked the nearby Efal settlement.[16] According to the "Palestine Post", on 16 February 1948 the Hagana blew up a two story house that was used by snipers against the Efal settlement.[17]

The village of Al-Khayriyya was depopulated in the weeks leading up to the 1948 Palestine war, during the Haganah's offensive Mivtza Hametz (Operation Hametz) 28–30 April 1948. This operation was held against a group of villages east of Jaffa, including Al-Khayriyya. According to the preparatory orders, the objective was to "opening the way [for Jewish forces] to Lydda". Though there was no explicit mention of the prospective treatment of the villagers, the order spoke of "cleansing the area" [tihur hashetah].[18] The final operational order stated: "Civilian inhabitants of places conquered would be permitted to leave after they are searched for weapons."[19]

During 28–30 April, the Haganah took Al-Khayriyya without a fight, the HIS attributed the non-resistance of the inhabitants to prior Arab defeats, and later added that "it is clear that the inhabitants [...] would willingly return to their villages and accept Jewish protection."[20]

The Alexandroni Brigade 32nd Battalion reported that they found and buried the bodies of four adult men and three women in the village, and briefly detained a handful of men, women and children. Two of the adult male villagers were charged with having killed a Haganah man, and they were then promptly executed.[3]

In 1952 and 1969 the Israeli settlements of Ramat Pinkas and Ramat Ef'al were established on village land, north of the village site.[12] The site now lies within the suburbs of Giv'atayim.[21]

Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the village remains in 1992: "A handful of houses and one of the schools remain. One deserted house, surrounded by shrubs and wild vegetation, has simple architecture: a rectangular door, small side windows, and a flat roof. A two-storey house, identified as having belonged to Ahmad al- Tibi, is used as a store. It has rectangular doors and windows and a gabled roof. Cypress, fig, Christ's-thorn, and orange trees grow on the site. Part of the adjacent land is cultivated and the rest is occupied by buildings."[21]

The village lands were later designated for a landfill known as Hiriya.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hadawi, 1970 p.52 Also in Khalidi, 1992, p. 248
  2. ^ Morris, 2002, p.xviii, village #209 ("Kheiriya, al-") Also gives cause of depopulation.
  3. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 217
  4. ^ a b Egoz, Shelley (2008), "Deconstructing the Hegemony of Nationalist Narratives through Landscape Architecture", Landscape Research (Routlegde) 33 (1): 37–38, 48, doi:10.1080/01426390701773789 
  5. ^ "Welcome to al-Khayriyya". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  6. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 822
  7. ^ Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter and Kamal Abdulfattah (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. p. 153. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 248.
  8. ^ "The son of Ibraq", according to Palmer, 1881, p. 214
  9. ^ Freedman, 2000, p. 165.
  10. ^ Cancik et al., 1996, p. 484.
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, p. 251
  12. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p. 248.
  13. ^ J. B. Barron, ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. Table VII, Sub-district of Jaffa, p. 20. 
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 14
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 96
  16. ^ "Attack base raided by the Haganah". The Palestine Post. 12 February 1948. 
  17. ^ "Tel Aviv border Attack Repulsed". The Palestine Post. 17 February 1948. "The Haganah repulsed an Arab attack from AbuKebir last knught' chasing the gangster as far as Kheria village, where it blew up a two story house that was used by snipers against the nearby Efal settlement " 
  18. ^ HGS\Operations to Alexandroni, etc., "Orders for Operation "Hametz", 26 Apr. 1948. IDFA 6647\49\\15. Cited in Morris (2004), p. 217, 286
  19. ^ Operation Hametz HQ to Givati, etc., 27 Apr. 1948, 14:00 hours, IDFA 67\51\\677. See also Alexandroni to battalions, 27 Apr. 1948, IDFA 922\75\\949. Cited in Morris, 2004, p. 217, 286
  20. ^ Alexandroni to brigades, etc., 8 May 1948, IDFA 2323\49\\6. Cited in Morris, 2004, p. 217, 286
  21. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p.249

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]