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Al-Ashrafiyya is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic الأشرفية
Also spelled Ashrafiya[1]
Subdistrict Baysan
Coordinates 32°28′12″N 35°28′17″E / 32.47000°N 35.47139°E / 32.47000; 35.47139Coordinates: 32°28′12″N 35°28′17″E / 32.47000°N 35.47139°E / 32.47000; 35.47139
Palestine grid 194/208
Population 230[2][3] (1945)
Area 6711[3] dunams
Date of depopulation May 12, 1948[1]
Cause(s) of depopulation Influence of nearby town's fall
Current localities Sheluhot,[4][5] Reshafim[4][6]

Al-Ashrafiyya (Arabic: الأشرفية‎‎), was a Palestinian Arab village in the District of Baysan. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. It was located 4.5 km southwest of Baysan.

The village was depopulated on May 12, 1948 during Operation Gideon. The village was completely destroyed and the inhabitants fled to Jordan.


British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the Mandatory Palestine authorities, Ashrafiyet Kuzma had 29 inhabitant; 27 Muslims and 2 Christians, while Ashrafiyet Rushdi had 7 Muslims; a total of 36 inhabitants.[7] The 2 Christians were Roman Catholics.[8]

In the 1931 census there were 4 villages named Ashrafiyat, where Ashrafiyat Kazma had 123 Muslims and 2 Christians in a total of 34 houses, while the three others were all Muslims; 48 in 11 houses in Ashrafiyat Abd el Hadi, 10 in 3 houses in Ashrafiyat Haddad, and 36 in 10 houses in Ashrafiyat Zamriq. In total there were 219 inhabitants in a total of 58 houses.[9]

In 1945, the population consisted of 230 Muslims,[2] and the land area was 6711 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[3] Of this, the land ownership census the Land Ownership (Dunums) was as follows:[3]

Owner Dunams
Arab 4,608
Jewish 1,293
Public 810
Total 6,711

The use of village land in 1945:[10][11]

Land Usage Arab Jewish Public
Citrus and bananas 143 11 -
Irrigated and plantation 4,458 772 -
Cereal 7 510 583
Urban - - -
Cultivable 4,608 1,293 583
Non-cultivable - - 227

The population rose to 267 in 1948 with 61 houses. The Wadi al-Maddu' runs near where the village was located.

1948, aftermath[edit]

In March, 1948, Yosef Weitz had started pressing the Haganah to expel Arab tenant farmers, and kibbutz leaders in the Baysan valley had demanded new settlements in their area, as "a means of freeing our land [from Arabs] and preventing the return of the beduins who had fled to Transjordan". On 22 April, 1948, Haganah agreed to set up five new settlements on non-Arab land, including land in Al-Ashrafiyya.[12][13]

The Palestinian inhabitants of Al-Ashrafiyya, along with those of the neighbouring village of Farwana, fled to Jordan with the approach of the pre-state Israeli forces of the Golani Brigade during Operation Gideon on 11 May 1948.[14]

Following the war the area was incorporated into the State of Israel and two kibbutzim were established on village land in 1948, Shluhot and Reshafim, both east of the village site.[4]

In 1992, it was described: "The site and the area around it are cultivated by the residents of Reshafim. A fishery also has been built on the site."[4]


  1. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xvii, village #127. Also gives cause of depopulation, with a "?"
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 6
  3. ^ a b c d Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 43
  4. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 44
  5. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, settlement #2
  6. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, settlement #3
  7. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, p. 31
  8. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XV, p. 48
  9. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 77
  10. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 84
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 134
  12. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 372, notes #176 and #177
  13. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 405, note #176 and #177. #177: 26 March, 1948, entry in Weitz diary. "This is the first documented linkage between the establishment of new settlements and the prevention of a return. The two settlements, kibbutzim Sheluhot and Reshafim, were established in the valley, on Ashrafiyya lands, on 10 June 1948."
  14. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 227


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