|Name meaning||"Thick, tangled grass" (possibly)|
|Also spelled||Karatayya, Karatiya, Qaratiyya|
|Date of depopulation||17-18 July, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Komemiyut, Revaha, Nehora|
Karatiyya (Arabic: كرتيا) was a Palestinian Arab village of 1,370, located 29 kilometers (18 mi) northeast of Gaza, situated in a flat area with an elevation of 100 meters (330 ft) along the coastal plain of Palestine and crossed by Wadi al-Mufrid.
In the 12th century, a castle called Galatie was built on the village site by the Crusaders and was subsequently captured by the Ayyubids under Saladin in 1187. In 1226, Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi writes of the village under Ayyubid rule as "Karatayya" as "a town near Bait Jibrin, in the Province of Filastin. It belongs to Jerusalem. The Mamluk sultan al-Nasir ibn Qalawun camped in Karatayya in 1299 on his way to fight the Mongols. 14th-century Arab geographer Al-Dimashqi reports that at times it was a part of Mamlakat Ghazzah ("Kingdom of Gaza").
In 1596, while under Ottoman rule, Karatiyya was under the administration of the nahiya of Gaza, part of Sanjak of Gaza. A population of 253, it paid taxes on wheat, barley, fruit, vineyards, beehives, and goats. In the 19th century, a ruined tower stood atop a mound just outside the village which was built in an open plain. During the British Mandate of Palestine period in the 20th century, the village houses were built of adobe brick and it relied on the nearby town of al-Faluja for medical, commercial, and administrative services. Karatiyya itself, had a mosque, a grain mill, and an elementary school—the latter was built in 1922 and had an enrollment of 128 students in the mid-1940s. Domestic water was supplied by two wells dug within the village and the primary agricultural crops were grain and prickly pears.
1948 War, and aftermath
Karatiyya was captured by the Israeli Army's 89th Mechanized Battalion, commander Moshe Dayan, on July 18, 1948 as part of Operation Death to the Invader. Its inhabitants fled upon their arrival, according to Dayan. According to Benny Morris, the village "was harassed by machine-gun fire and abandoned by its inhabitants". Israeli forces intended to link their northern territory with that held by Israeli forces in the Negev, but succeeded only partially, only taking control of Hatta and Karatiyya. After it was stormed by Dayan's troops he controversially withdrew them leaving a Givati infantry company to hold the position. A fierce battle ensued between them and the Egyptian Army who got as far as the village outskirts. When two Egyptian tanks were on the verge of breaking the Israeli defenses from the south, a unit hiding behind a wall of prickly pear cacti, armed with anti-tank weapons "changed the course of the battle", according to Haganah accounts.
On August 20, 1948, Ben-Gurion together with Yehoshua Eshel, presented a plan for 32 new Jewish settlement on newly depopulated Palestinian villages, for Karatiyya one proposed a settlement named Otzem or Komemiyut
Three Israeli settlements were eventually founded on village land: Komemiyut in 1950 and Revaha in 1953, close to the village site. Nehora, established in 1956, is partly on village land, and partly on land belonging to al-Faluja.
The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described Karatiyya in 1992: "Piles of debris are scattered on the site, and a destroyed cemetery (partially hidden among eucalyptus trees) can be seen. An agricultural road runs through it. Grain and alfalfa are grown by Israeli farmers on the site and surrounding lands."
- Palmer, 1881, p. 368
- Morris, 2004, p.xix, village # 302. Also gives the cause for the depopulation
- Khalidi, 1992, p.118
- Conder and Kitchener, SWP III, 1883, p. 278
- Conder and Kitchener, SWP III, 1883, p. 294
- Yaqut al-Hamawi quoted in le Strange, 1890, p.480.
- Atallah, 1986, p.76-77. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p.118.
- le Strange, 1890, p.41.
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah p.149, quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.118.
- Conder and Kitchener, SWP III, 1883, p.260, Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 118
- Robinson and Smith, 1842, II, p. 370
- Morris, 2004, p. 75, 141
- Morris, 2004, p. 343, 396
- Moshe Dayan, "Story of My Life". ISBN 0-688-03076-9. Pages 112-121.
- Givati HQ to (?) General Staff\Operations, 09:45 hours, ? July 1948, IDFA 922\75\\908. Cited in Morris, 2002, 437, note 130, p. 456
- Shabtai Teveth, "Moshe Dayan". ISBN 0-7043-1080-5. Page 189.
- Morris, 2004, p. 376
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 119
- 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. Vol 1 Judee, pt. 2. (p. 124 )
- 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.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- le Strange, Guy (1890), Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500, Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, London,
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 2: 135–163. ( p. 155 )