Khirbat Jiddin mosque
|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) is the site of the Crusader castle of Iudyn, built by the Teutonic Order after 1220 in the western Upper Galilee, 16 km northeast of the city of Acre; which at the time was the capital of the Crusader kingdom. The castle was destroyed by the Mamluk sultan Baibars sometime between 1268-1271 and lay in ruins until being rebuilt and expanded by the Bedouin ruler Dhaher al-Omar as Qal'at Jiddin (Jiddin Castle) in the 1760s, only to be destroyed again around 1775 by Jezzar Pasha. The ruined fortress, known as Khirbat Jiddin (lit. "ruins of Jiddin"), was later inhabited by Bedouin tribes.
According to a 1945 census, there were 1,500 Muslims living in the area. Khirbat Jiddin land 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 establishment of the kibbutz is described on its own Wikipedia page.
Today the remains of the castle are in Yehi'am Fortress National Park.
The site was inhabited in the Byzantine period.
The Crusaders called the place Iudyn 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 Baibars 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 ruler who became Ottoman governor of the Galilee. It was Dhaher al-Omar who had the enclosure walls and towers constructed and the moat hewn out of the bedrock, together with an angled entrance gatehouse, vaulted in a manner faithful to the Crusader style. The vaulted hall on the lower level of the castle was the basement of a palatial residence that included a small mosque and a bathhouse. The hall's 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 bathhouse 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.'"
1948 War and aftermath
Khirbat Jiddin 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
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in 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
- Benvenisti, 2000, 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, 1792, p. 333, 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.|
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Benveniśtî, Mêrôn (2000). Sacred landscape: the buried history of the Holy Land since 1948. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-23422-2.
- Cohen, Amnon (1973). Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Patterns of Government and Administration. Jerusalem: Hebrew University. 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.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Kitchener, H. H. (1877). "Lieutenant Kitchener's Report". Quarterly statement - Palestine Exploration Fund 9: 165–178.
- Kitchener, H. H. (1878). "List of Photographs Taken in Galilee with Descriptions". Quarterly statement - Palestine Exploration Fund 10: 134–141.
- Laurent, J. C. M., ed. (1864). Peregrinatores Medii Aevi Quatuor (in Latin). Leipzig.
- Mariti, Giovanni (1792). Travels Through Cyprus, Syria, and Palestine; with a General History of the Levant 1. Dublin: P. Byrne.
- 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. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. (p. 51)
- Petersen, Andrew (2001). A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine (British Academy Monographs in Archaeology) I. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-727011-0.
- 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: L-Z (exluding Tyre) II. 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.
- Palestine Remembered: Khirbat Jiddin
- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 3: IAA, Wikimedia commons
- official archaeology website: Yehiam National Park