Al-Jura, Jerusalem

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Etymology: The water hole[1]
Al-Jura is located in Mandatory Palestine
Coordinates: 31°45′25″N 35°08′56″E / 31.75694°N 35.14889°E / 31.75694; 35.14889Coordinates: 31°45′25″N 35°08′56″E / 31.75694°N 35.14889°E / 31.75694; 35.14889
Palestine grid164/129
Geopolitical entityMandatory Palestine
Date of depopulationNot known[4]
 • Total4,158 dunams (4.158 km2 or 1.605 sq mi)
 • Total420[2][3]
Current LocalitiesOra[5]
el Jurah in the 1870s

Al-Jura (el Jurah) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Jerusalem Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on July 11, 1948, under Operation Danny. It was located 8.5 km west of Jerusalem. al-Jura was mostly destroyed with the exception of several deserted houses.


Just west of al-Jura there were two Khirbats from the Byzantine era: Khirbat Sa'ida and Ayn al-Jadida. Crusader presence were at Khirbat al-Qusur, ( 163/128).[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

Khirbat al-Qusur was mentioned in the Ottoman 1596 tax registers, as a place in the Al Quds region. It had 27 Muslim households, who paid a total of 4,500 akçe in taxes.[5][6]

In 1838 el-Jurah was noted as a Muslim village, part of Beni Hasan area, located west of Jerusalem.[7]

In 1863 Victor Guérin noted about Al-Jura: "A small village of a hundred inhabitants, fed by a rather abundant source, the water of which flows into a basin. I observed several caves cut in the rock. The valley which extends to the bottom of the village is covered with figs, olive trees and vines."[8]

An Ottoman village list from about 1870 found that the village had a population of 84, in a total of 20 houses, though the population count included men, only.[9][10]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described El Jurah as "a small hamlet on the slope of the ridge, with olives below it, and a spring in the valley, about 3/4 mile to the north."[11]

In 1896 the population of Ed-dschora was estimated to be about 150 persons.[12]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Jarah had a population of 234 Muslims,[13] increasing in the 1931 census to 329 Muslims, in 63 houses.[14]

In the 1945 statistics the village had a population of 420 Muslims,[2] while the total land area was 4,158 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[3] Of this, 2,125 were used for plantations and irrigable land, 846 for cereals,[15] while 27 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[16]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

Following the war, the area was incorporated into the State of Israel. The moshav of Ora was established land that had belonged to al-Jura in 1950.[5]

In 1992, the village site was described: "The only structures that still stand are two limestone houses on the valley floor at the southern edge of the village. The larger house is a rectangular, two-storey building; its second storey has two arched doors, each of which is flanked by two arched windows. Almond groves cover a terrace built on the valley floor. Fig, carob, and cypress trees and cactuses grow on the site. One can see the ruins of houses, staircases, and wells on the adjacent land. The site is surrounded by cypress forests."[5]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 296
  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 Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #355. Gives both cause and date of depopulation as "Not known".
  5. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p. 298
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 121
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 123
  8. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 5
  9. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 153
  10. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 122, also noted 20 houses
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 21
  12. ^ Schick, 1896, p. 125
  13. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 14
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 41
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 103 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 153 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine


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