|Also spelled||Soba, Sobetha, Zova|
|Date of depopulation||13 July 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Tzova, Yedida school|
Suba (Arabic: صوبا) was a Palestinian Arab village west of Jerusalem that was depopulated and destroyed in 1948. The site of the village lies on the summit of a conical hill called Tel Tzova (Hebrew: תל צובה), or Jabal Suba, rising 769 metres above sea level, and it was built on the ruins of a Crusader castle.
Settlement at the site continued, and was mentioned as "Suba" about 1225 by Arab geographers. In 1596, there were 60 Muslim and 7 Christian families living there. The village economy relied on wheat, barley, olives and grapes. In the mid-nineteenth century, the village was controlled by the Abu Ghosh family. The Crusader walls and the fortifications they built in the village were destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1832. An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that Suba had 33 houses and a population of 112, though the population count included only men.
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the village saw fierce fighting, due to its key location near the Jerusalem highway. In late 1947 and early 1948, irregular forces of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood stationed in Suba took part in the fighting against Jewish forces, including attacks on Jewish traffic on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road. The village was attacked several times by the Haganah, and finally conquered by the Palmach during the night of July 12–13 as part of Operation Danny. Most of the inhabitants had fled during the fighting, and those who remained were expelled. In October 1948, the "Ameilim" group of Palmach veterans established a kibbutz called Misgav Palmach on village lands 1 km to the south. Later it was renamed Tzova.
Today Tel Tzova is a national park surrounded by the lands of the kibbutz. The ruins of the village are visible along with remains of Belmont Castle.
The history of the village of Suba is the subject of two books, one by Ibrahim ‘Awadallah published in Amman, Jordan in 1996, and another by Muhammad Sa’id Muslih Rumman in the West Bank, published in 2000.
Belmont castle was excavated by archaeologists in 1986-9. Middle Bronze Age cairn-tombs have been excavated in the neighborhood of the ruined Arab village, though the site itself has not yielded artifacts from before the late Iron Age. The place can perhaps be identified with Σωρης mentioned in the Greek version of Josh. 15:59. There has also been a tentative identification with the Tzova in 1 Samuel 14:47 and 2 Samuel 23:36. In the later Roman period, the site was mentioned in rabbinical sources as Seboim. Until the mid-19th century, Christian pilgrims mistakenly identified the site with Modi'in, the origin of the Maccabees.
Sometime before 1169, the Crusaders built a castle there called Belmont, run by the Hospitallers. Today, parts of the northern and western Crusader wall remain, as well as ruins of a tower and other structures. These include large underground cisterns, some pre-dating the Crusader period.
- List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
- List of villages depopulated during the Arab-Israeli conflict
- Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #353. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Morris, 2004, p. xxi, settlement #32.
- R.P. Harper and D. Pringle, Belmont Castle: A historical notice and preliminary report of excavations in 1986, Levant, Vol XX, 1988, pp 101-118. Same authors, Belmont Castle 1987 : Second preliminary report of excavations, Levant, Vol XXI, 1989, pp 47-62.
- le Strange, 1890, p.538
- Khalidi, 1992, pp 317-319.
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p.18.
- Socin, 1879, p. 161
- 1931 census of Palestine
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970 p.58
- Morris, 2004, p. 436.
- Rochelle Davis: Peasant Narratives Memorial Book Sources for Jerusalem Village History, January 2004, Issue 20 Jerusalem Quarterly
- R.P. Harper and D. Pringle (2000), Belmont Castle, The excavation of a Crusader Stronghold in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-727009-3
- TFBA - Directory of Projects: Suba Excavations
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Suba.|
- 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.
- Clermont-Ganneau, Charles Simon (1896): Archaeological Researches in Palestine 1873-1874, [ARP], translated from the French by J. McFarlane, Palestine Exploration Fund, London. Volume 1. p. 480-481
- Guérin, Victor (1868). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine. Vol 1, Judee, pt. 1 ("Tome premier"). 30th April 1863: p. 265 ff
- Hadawi, Sami (1970), Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine, Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center
- McCown, C. (1923) Muslim Shrines in Palestine. AASOR (=Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research), 2-3, pp 47-79 p.55 Plate 15
- Morris, Benny (2004), The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6
- 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
- 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
- Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins (1878), Volume: 1-2, 1878
- with A. Socin (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palaestina-Vereins (Leipzig) II: 133–163.