Sar'a

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Sar'a
SaraPalestine.jpg
Village scene, picture taken between 1900 and 1920
Arabic صرعة
Name meaning from Zoreah[1]
Also spelled Surah
Subdistrict Jerusalem
Population 340 (1945[2])
Area 4,967 dunams
Date of depopulation July 18, 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Tarum[4]

Sar'a (Arabic: صرعة‎), was a Palestinian Arab village located 25 km west of Jerusalem.

History[edit]

The Canaanites referred to Sar'a by the name of Sur'a or Zorah, mentioned in the Amarna letters. It was known as part of the territory of the Tribe of Judah, on the boundary of the Tribe of Dan. Later, the Romans called it Sarea. Sar'a had two shrines, one of which is still standing. The first belongs to al-Nabi Samat, and the other for an unknown individual. The village also has several khirbas including Khirbat al-Tahuna, where the ruins of a building constructed of ashlars (squared stone masonry) and the foundations of other buildings.[citation needed]

Incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with the rest of Palestine, Saris appears in the 1596 tax records as a village in the nahiya (subdistrict) of al-Ramla under the liwa' (district) of Gaza with a population of 94. The villagers paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, olives, goats and beehives.[5]

In 1883 it was described as a moderate sized village, standing on a low hill. A domed maqam, Neby Samat, stood to the south.[6]

In 1945 the population of Saris was 340, all Arabs, who owned 4,967 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[2] 194 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 2,979 for cereals,[4][7] while 16 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[8]

1948, and afterward[edit]

Sar'a was captured by Israel's Harel Brigade between July 13–14, 1948 during the offensive Operation Dani in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Many of the inhabitants had already fled as the village had been on the front lines since April.[9] Those who had remained fled when the mortar barrages from the approaching Harel columns began; the few that stayed throughout the assault were later expelled.[9] The village's inhabitants fled the village towards various West Bank refugee camps, including Qalandiya.

The Israeli locality of Tarum was established on the north-eastern part of village land in 1950, while Tzora was established about 2 km southwest of the site, on land belonging to Dayr Aban.[4]

According to the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, the village remaining structures on the village land were in 1992:

Stone rubble and iron girders are strewn among the trees on the site. A flat stone, surrounded by debris and inscribed with Arabic verses from the Qur'an, bears the date A.H. 1355 (1936). On the western edge of the site stands a shrine containing the tombs of two local religious teachers. A valley to the northeast is covered with fig, almond, and cypress trees.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 329
  2. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 58
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, village#332. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  4. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 314
  5. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 154. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 314
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 26. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.314
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 104
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 154
  9. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 436.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°46′41.15″N 34°59′11.74″E / 31.7780972°N 34.9865944°E / 31.7780972; 34.9865944