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Shahma is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic شحمة
Name meaning from personal name[1]
Also spelled Shameh[2]
Subdistrict Ramle
Coordinates 31°49′25.92″N 34°48′39.62″E / 31.8238667°N 34.8110056°E / 31.8238667; 34.8110056Coordinates: 31°49′25.92″N 34°48′39.62″E / 31.8238667°N 34.8110056°E / 31.8238667; 34.8110056
Palestine grid 132/136
Population 280[3] (1945)
Area 6,875[3] dunams
6.9 km²
Date of depopulation May 14, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Influence of nearby town's fall

Shahma (Arabic: شحمة‎) was a Palestinian Arab village located 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) southwest of Ramla.[5] Depopulated on the eve of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the village lands today form part of a fenced in area used by the Israeli Air Force.[4][6]


The village was situated on the coastal plain, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) southwest of Ramla, in a flat area that was slightly higher that the terrain to the south and southeast. Wadi al-Sarar ran about 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) southwest of it, and a secondary road linked Shahma to al-Ramla. During World War II, the British built RAF Aqir military airport just north of the village, Shahma military base lay to the north and east.[5]


In the late nineteenth century, Shahma was described as a small village built of adobe bricks, whose inhabitants drew their water from a well to the south of the village.[7]

In the British Mandate -era, the village was classified as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer. During this time the village was divided into two sections, north and south of a secondary road. Some of its houses were built in part with stone remains from previous settlements.[5]

In 1944/45 the village had a population of 280. A total of 152 dunums of village land was used for citrus and bananas, 4,911 dunums were used for cereals, and 33 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[5][8]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the place in 1992: "The site has been incorporated into a fenced-in military airfield. It is marked by cactuses and bushes that are visible from the outside."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 273
  2. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, p. 120.
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 68
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #262. Also provides cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 414
  6. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 415
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP II, p.408 Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 414
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 117


External links[edit]