Khirbat al-'Umur

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Khirbat al-'Umur
Khirbat al-'Umur is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khirbat al-'Umur
Khirbat al-'Umur
Arabic خربة العمور
Name meaning from Amorite[1]
Also spelled chirbet el-'amur
Subdistrict Jerusalem
Coordinates 31°47′37″N 35°05′56″E / 31.79361°N 35.09889°E / 31.79361; 35.09889Coordinates: 31°47′37″N 35°05′56″E / 31.79361°N 35.09889°E / 31.79361; 35.09889
Palestine grid 159/133
Population 270[2][3] (1945)
Area 4,163 dunams
Date of depopulation October 21, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Giv'at Ye'arim[5]

Khirbat al-'Umur was a Palestinian Arab village in the Jerusalem Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine war by the Har'el Brigade during Operation ha-Har. It was located 12 km west of Jerusalem on the Wadi al-Ghadir.


An Ottoman village list from about 1870 showed that chirbet el-'amur had a population of 69, with a total of 13 houses, though the population count included men, only. It also noted that it was located in the District of Beni Malik, south of Abu Ghosh, and east of Saris.[6][7]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described El Ammur as "A small hamlet on the slope above a deep valley. There is a fine perennial spring below on the south ('Ain Mahtush). There are olives beneath the village."[8]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kherbet al-'Amur had a population of 137 Muslims,[9] increasing in the 1931 census to 187 Muslims, in 45 houses.[10]

In 1945, the village had a population of 270 Muslims,[2] while the total land area was 4,163 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[3] Of this, 497 dunams were used for plantations and irrigable land, 1,279 for cereals,[11] while 10 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[12]

1948, aftermath[edit]

Khirbat al-'Umur became depopulated on October 21, 1948, after military assault by Yishuv forces.[4]

In 1950, Giv'at Ye'arim was founded on village land.[5]

In 1992, the village site was described: "Stone rubble and window and door frames, partly hidden by wild grass, are scattered across the village site. Many stone terraces are visible. Cactuses grow on the east and north sides of the village site, and almond, olive, fig, and cypress trees grow on the village site itself. The village cemetery, to the south, is covered with dirt and grass but many graves are visible; tombstones stand at the head and foot of each one. The spring of 'Ayn al-'Umur and the stone structure around it can still be seen."[5]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, pp. 283, 268
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 25
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 57
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #350. Also gives cause of depopulation, with a "(?)"
  5. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 321
  6. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 150
  7. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 118 also noted 13 houses
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 16
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 14
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 44
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 103
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 153


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