|Name Meaning||Herbieh, p.n., from "to take flight". |
|Also Spelled||Hirbya, Herbieh|
|Date of depopulation||late October-November 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Secondary cause||Expulsion by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Zikim, Karmia, Yad Mordechai|
Hirbiya Arabic: هربيا was a Palestinian Arab village in the District of Gaza, located 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) northeast of Gaza along the southern coastal plain of Palestine. In 1945, it had a population of 2,300 inhabitants, of which 2,240 were Arabs and 60 were Jews.
It was known as "Forbie" to the Crusaders. In 1226, the Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi called "Firbiya" and noted that it was within the administrative jurisdiction of Ascalon. The village was the site of a crucial battle between the Crusaders and the Ayyubids, which ended in a decisive Ayyubid victory. Historians consider it second in strategic significance to the Battle of Hattin in 1187. A circular well, made of masonry, and the foundations of a small tower was still found there in the late 19th century.
In the late 19th century, Hirbiya had a rectangular layout, although some of its adobe brick houses were scattered in surrounding orchards. The village was surrounded by a pond, a well, and several gardens. To the south were remains of the Crusader fortress. The population at the time was entirely Muslim. Hirbiya had a mosque and elementary school, both located in the village center. The school opened in 1922 and had an enrollment of 124 students in the 1940s.
1948 War and aftermath
It is difficult to determine exactly when Hirbiya was captured by Israel, although it was definitely targeted in October 1948 during Operation Yoav. The village came under aerial bombardment on October 15-16, along with a number of other towns and villages in the area. Later, during the same operation, an attack on the village was planned, but the attack was called off when it learned that a large Egyptian Army force was quartered in the village. It probably fell to Israeli forces in early November, shortly after the occupation of Ascalon at the end of Operation Yoav.
The Jewish localities of Zikim and Karmiya were established on village lands in 1949 and 1950 respectively. The town of Yad Mordechai, established in 1943 has expanded onto Hirbiya's lands. According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, "The mosque (which has been converted into a warehouse) and the house of Muhammad 'Atiyya are the only buildings that survive."
- Palmer, 1881, p. 360
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 235
- Morris, 2004, p.xx, village #379. Also gives causes of depopulation.
- Khalidi, 1992, p.101.
- Conder and Kichener, 1883, p. 251
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 145. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 101
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p.235, Also cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 101
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 102.
- 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.
- 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 0-88728-224-5.
- 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.