|Date of depopulation||11 July 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Yehiam, Kiryat, and Ga'aton|
Khirbat Jiddin (Arabic: خربة جدين) was the site of a fortress destroyed by Mamluk Sultan Baibars in 1265. The Bedouin Sheikh Daher el-Omar constructed a larger fortress around the old Crusader period ruins in the 1760s. Shortly afterwards, circa 1775, it was destroyed by Jezzar Pasha.; later, it was again inhabited by Bedouins. According to a 1945 census, there were 1,500 Muslims living in the area. Khirbat Jiddin lands totaled 7,587 dunums, 4,238 owned by Arabs and 3,349 dunums owned by Jews. Kibbutz Yehiam was established in the area in 1946.
The site was inhabited in the Byzantine period.
The Crusaders called the place Judyn or Iudin. A Crusader castle was built there some time after May 1220, when the Teutonic Order acquired the nearby village of Shifaya. The village fell to Sultan Baybars between 1268 and 1271. In 1283, Burchard of Mount Sion described a destroyed castle on the site that had belonged to the Teutonic Order. Marino Sanuto, in 1322, mentions it as a castle belonging to the Teutonic Knights.
The castle was built around two towers with an outer enclosure wall.
The fortress as it now exists was built in the eighteenth century by Dhaher al-Omar, the Bedouin leader who became Ottoman governor of the Galilee. It was Dhaher al-Omar who had the enclosure walls, towers and moat (hewn out of rock) constructed, together with an angled entrance gatehouse, vaulted in a manner faithful to the Crusader style. This hall was the basement of a palatial residence that included a small mosque and a bathhouse.
The vaulted roof rested on a series of square pillars on the hillside. The walls featured well shafts and gun-slits. The mosque was a small square building originally roofed with four cross-vaults resting on a central pillar. The bath house was a small building supplied with water from the wells below.
An Italian monk, Mariti, who visited "Geddin" in the 1760s, says he was given a generous reception by the local sheik who guarded the place for Daher. Jezzar Pasha destroyed the fortress around 1775.
French explorer Victor Guérin visited in 1875, and described it: "Two great square towers, deprived of their upper stage, are still there, partly upright, and contain several chambers now in very bad condition. The staircases which lead to them have been deprived of part of their steps to make access more difficult. Underneath are magazines and cellars, the vaults of which rest on several ranges of arcades. Cisterns hollowed in the rock are found beneath a paved court. Below and near the castle a second inclosure, flanked by semicircular towers, contains within it the remains of numerous demolished houses and cisterns." When Kitchener inspected the place in 1877, he found it "quite unoccupied, though there are several chambers and vaults that could serve as habitations."
1948 War and aftermath
Khirbat Jidden was in the territory envisaged as an Arab state in the 1947 UN Partition Plan. On July 11, 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, it was captured by Israel's Sheva' Brigade as part of Operation Dekel.
- Yehiam convoy
- Archeology of Israel
- List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Palestinian exodus
- Hadawi, 1970, p. 40
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 19
- Morris, 2004, p. xxi, settlement #30
- Yeruham National Park, English version, 18/8/2013.
- Pringle et al., 1994.
- About Kibbutz Yehiam
- Pringle, 1997, pp. 80 - 82
- Pringle, 1998, p. 162
- Laurent, 1864, p. 34
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 154
- Petersen, 2001, p. 251
- Cohen, 1973, p 124. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 19
- Meron Benvenisti,Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948, University of California Press, (2000) 2002 p.302:'The arbitrary designation of any especially massive structure as "Crusader" verges on the absurd in the case of Jidin Castle (on Kibbutz Yehiam), which was built by Sheikh Dahr al-'Omar al-Zaidani . .Within this large fortress are remnants of a small Crusader fort; nevertheless the Israelis refer to Yehiam Castle (as Dahr al-'Omar's fortress is called today) as "a Crusader castle that was destroyed at the time of the Muslim conquest and partially reconstructed by Dahr al-'Omar."
- Daniel Jacobs, Shirley Eber, Francesca Silvani, Israel and the Palestinian Territories,Rough Guides, 1998 p.235.
- Mariti p. 333, p.388, also cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 251.
- Guérin, 1880, pp. 24 -26, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, pp. 185-186
- Kitchener, 1877, p. 178
- Kitchener, 1878, p. 137
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yehiam Fortress.|
- Cohen, A. (1973), Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Patterns of Government and Administration. Hebrew University, Jerusalem. ISBN 1-59045-955-5. Cited in Khalidi, (1992)
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, Herbert H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 1. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Guérin, Victor (1880). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 3: Galilee, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
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- Morris, Benny (2004), The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press ISBN 0-521-00967-7
- 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. p.51
- Petersen, Andrew (2001), A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine: Volume I (British Academy Monographs in Archaeology)
- Pringle, R. D., A. Petersen, M. Dow and C. Singer (1994), Qulʿat Jiddin: A castle of the Crusader and Ottoman periods in Galilee. Levant, 26: 135-66.
- Pringle, Denys (1998). The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: Volume II L-Z (exluding Tyre). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0 521 39037 0. Also cited in Petersen (2001)
- Pringle, Denys (1997). Secular buildings in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: an archaeological Gazetter. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521 46010 7.