Malha (Hebrew: מלחה) is a neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem, Israel, between Pat and Kiryat Hayovel. Before 1948, Malha was a Palestinian Arab village known as al-Maliha (Arabic: المالحه). The official Hebrew name of the neighborhood is Manahat (Hebrew: מנחת) named for the biblical town of Manahath, but residents of Jerusalem continue to call it Malha.
|Name meaning||The salt-pan|
|Area||13,449 Arab owned dunams|
|Date of depopulation||21 April 1948, 15 July 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Influence of nearby town's fall|
|Secondary cause||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
In 1596, al-Maliha was part of the Ottoman Empire, nahiya (subdistrict) of Jerusalem under the Liwa of Jerusalem, with a population of 286. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, and olive and fruit trees, goats and beehives.
In the late 1870s the village was described as being of moderate size, standing high on a flat ridge. To the south was Ayn Yalu.
In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the village of al-Maliha, with a population of 2,250, was occupied as part of the battle for south Jerusalem. In the early part of the war, Al-Maliha, along with al-Qastal, Sur Baher and Deir Yassin, signed non-aggression pacts with the Haganah. On April 12, 1948, in the wake of the Deir Yassin Massacre, villagers from al Maliha, Qaluniya and Beit Iksa began to flee in panic. The Irgun attacked Malha in early morning hours of July 14, 1948. Several hours later, the Palestinian Arabs launched a counter-attack and seized one of the fortified positions. When Irgun reinforcements arrived, the Palestinians retreated and Malha was in Jewish control, but 17 Irgun fighters were killed and many wounded. The Arab inhabitants fled to Bethlehem, which remained under Jordanian control. The depopulated homes were occupied by Jewish refugees from Middle Eastern countries, mainly Iraq. Some of the land in Malha had been purchased before the establishment of the state by the Valero family, a family of Sephardi Jews that owned large amounts of property in Jerusalem and environs.
Under the aegis of the Jerusalem Municipality, the neighborhood was modernised and a large housing development was established on the nearby hill and its eastern slopes. At the bottom of the hill are the Malha Shopping Mall, Teddy Stadium, and the Jerusalem Malha Railway Station. Malha is now considered an upscale neighborhood. Schools include a vocational high school (ORT) and an elementary school, the Shalom School. The Jerusalem Technology Park houses many companies, including some high-tech start-ups as well as international media offices. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and Malha Basketball Arena are also located in Malha.
Archaeological excavations in the area in 1987-1990 unearthed two large Bronze Age agricultural villages, built one above the other, believed to have been Manahat, a Canaanite town on the northern border of the Tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:59). The remains of the village have been preserved in the Biblical Zoo.
- Jerusalem Malha Railway Station
- List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
- Palmer, 1881, p. 322
- Hadawi, 1970, p.57
- Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Depopulated Jerusalem Localities of the year 1948 by Selected Variables
- Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #361. Also gives the cause for depopulation
- 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. 118. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.304
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, III:21. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.304
- Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
- Morris, Benny, (second edition 2004 third printing 2006) The Birth Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00967-7 p 75 and p 91
- Morris, Benny, (second edition 2004 third printing 2006) The Birth Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00967-7 p 239
- Sephardi entrepreneurs in Jerusalem: The Valero family, 1800-1948, Joseph B. Glass, Ruth Kark
- Ynet Encyclopedia
- Malha Technological Centre
- Nahal Refa-im - Canaanite Bronze Age villages near
- 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.
- 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.
- Rogers, Mary Eliza (1865): Domestic Life in Palestine
- Photos of the neighborhood
- Al-Maliha village at palestineremembered.com
- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 17: IAA, Wikimedia commons
- Tour and Signposting in Al-Malha