Zarnuqa

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Zarnuqa
Zarnuqa is located in Mandatory Palestine
Zarnuqa
Zarnuqa
Arabic زرنوقة
Name meaning "The rivulet"[1]
Subdistrict Ramle
Coordinates 31°52′49.05″N 34°47′23.04″E / 31.8802917°N 34.7897333°E / 31.8802917; 34.7897333Coordinates: 31°52′49.05″N 34°47′23.04″E / 31.8802917°N 34.7897333°E / 31.8802917; 34.7897333
Population 2,620 (1945)
Area 7,545 dunams
Date of depopulation 27–28 May 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Expulsion by Yishuv forces
Current localities Rehovot, Kvutzat Shiller, Gibton and Givat Brenner

Zarnuqa (Arabic: زرنوقة‎), also Zarnuga,[3] was a Palestinian Arab village in the Ramle Subdistrict. It was depopulated on 27–28 May 1948 during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

History[edit]

Ottoman era[edit]

Some of the inhabitants of Zarnuqa were Egyptians who arrived in Palestine with the army of Ibrahim Pasha.[4][page needed]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the Zarnuqa as a large adobe village "with cactus hedges around it and wells in the gardens."[5]

In 1890, the region between Zarnuqa and Ramle, a stretch of 10,000 dunams, was described as an uncultivated wasteland.[6][page needed] In March 1892, a dispute over pasture rights erupted between the shepherds of Zarnuqa and the Jewish farmers of the newly established moshava of Rehovot, which was finally resolved in the courts.[4] In 1913, a violent clash sparked by the theft of grapes from a Rishon LeZion vineyard resulted in the deaths of two Jews from Rehovot and an Arab of Zarnuqa. The incident occurred when members of Hashomer, a newly formed Jewish defense organization, confronted two Arab villagers caught stealing. The confrontation, described as one of the first violent encounters between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, led to a mass brawl.[7]

Economy[edit]

In 1929, Zarnuqa had 1,122 dunams of citrus orchards and most of its economic growth derived from citriculture.[8] In 1934, Zionist writer Ze'ev Smilansky attributed the modernization of the village to its proximity to Rehovot and land sales to Jews by both effendis and fellahin. Advanced farming technologies were introduced under the tuition of their Jewish neighbors.[8]

Education[edit]

In 1945, the village had a population of 2,620. The village had two elementary schools, with one of them for boys (founded in 1924) and the other one for girls (founded in 1943). In 1945, the schools had an enrollment of 252 respectively 45. Zarnuqa was located 10 km southwest of Ramla.[9]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

At the beginning of December 1947, the residents of Zarnuqa considered entering into a non-belligerency pact with Rehovot but apparently it was not formalized. In April 1948, Arab irregulars moved into the village. The Dar Shurbaji clan was in favor of the village surrendering its weapons and accept protection by Haganah but others objected. Women, children and the elderly were evacuated to the nearby village of Yibna, leaving the Shurbajis and several dozen armed men from other clans. Zarnuqa was depopulated on 27–28 May by the Givati Brigade during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. One account in Al HaMishmar described how a soldier fired with a Sten gun at three people (one old man, old woman and a child) and how the villagers were taken out from the houses and had to stay in the sun, in hunger and thirst, until they surrendered the weapons they claimed they did not have. They were then expelled towards Yibna. In total, six died and 22 were taken prisoners. The day after, the inhabitants returned and recounted that the Yibna villagers saw them as traitors. The Zarnuqa villagers saw their village being ransacked by Jewish soldiers and nearby settlers. They were expelled again and the houses were demolished the month after.[10]

The family of the Shaqaqi brothers, Fathi (one of the founders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and the political scientist Khalil Ibrahim, was from Zarnuqa.[9][11] They fled in the face of rumours of massacres of Palestinians by Yishuv troops and expected to return after the hostilities ended. They were not permitted to come back.[12] Haidar Eid, Associate Professor at al-Aqsa University in Gaza, states that his parent were evicted from the village by members of the Haganah and Stern gang who told them: "Leave your homes or we will kill and rape you".[13]

After the establishment of Israel, the Zarnuqa ma'abara was established on the site to house Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe and Arab lands.[14]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]