|• Also spelled||al-Midyah (official)|
al-Midya from the east
|Governorate||Ramallah & al-Bireh|
|• Type||Village council|
|• Jurisdiction||892 dunams (0.9 km2 or 0.3 sq mi)|
al-Midya (Arabic: المديه) is a Palestinian village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the northern West Bank, located 20 kilometers west of Ramallah. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the village had a population of over 1,301 inhabitants in 2007.
The ancient village site is located at Ras al-Midya, S-E of the village, where pottery from the Iron Age and later periods has been found. It was apparently mentioned by Ishtori Haparchi during the Mamluk era.
Al-Midya was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Ramla in the Liwa of Gaza. It had a population of 25 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops or olives or fruit trees, and a press for olives or grapes.
In 1870, Victor Guérin visited, and thought that ruins found there were the graves of the Maccabees. However, Clermont-Ganneau made extensive excavations later, and he found Christian crosses in the oldest part of the largest structure. He concluded the ruins were from the 5th century or later, that is, from the Byzantine era.
An official Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that el-medje had a total of 42 houses and a population of 159, though the population count included men only. It also noted that it was located half an hour east of Jimzu.
In 1882, Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Midieh as being a village of a "good size", with houses either built of adobe or stone. To the north was a small olive grove, to the south a tank. The most "peculiar feature" they found was named er Ras. It was a high conical knoll, with a muqam on top, and rock-cut tombs on the side.
British Mandate era
In 1945 the population of el Midya was 320 Muslims, who owned 7,020 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 688 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 2,304 for cereals, while 8 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
According to the Applied Research Institute–Jerusalem, Al-Midya's total land area was 6,959 dunams in 1942, but after 1948 most of the village's western land was expropriated, leaving 892 dunams, of which 217 were classified as built-up areas.
Under the Israeli occupation
In 1986, when the population amounted to 570 people, largely dependent on agriculture, the villagers were woken at 3:00 a.m. by the arrival of Israeli military vehicles and were informed that a curfew would be in place until 9 pm that day. Throughout the day, roughly 1,000 Israelis, soldiers protecting the operation and workers from the Israeli Lands Administration and Nature Reserve authorities who drove bulldozers to grade a road down a steep hillside to a rough track running below it, and chainsawed an olive grove extending over 1,100 dunams, destroying 3,000 trees. When the devastation was reported, Israel said the razing was to block Al-Midya from encroaching on Israeli state land, claiming that the olive trees were less than five years old, and planted to secure title to the area. Most cut trunks were over half a metre in diameter, suggesting centuries of growth.
Excavations near Midya in the 19th century suggested that graves of the Maccabees were located here. Seven triangular tombs were found corresponding with the description of the first-century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, who wrote that the family’s seven pyramid-shaped graves were erected in the same place. In 1870, an ancient structure near the gravesite of Sheikh al-Arabawi, adjacent to al-Midya, was identified as a Hasmonean grave, but this was rejected by another biblical archaeologist, Charles Clermont-Ganneau. Further exploration by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the 21st century suggest the likelihood that Horbat Sheikh Gharbawi (Horbat Ha-Gardi) is the family tomb of the Maccabees, or marking the alleged tomb in the Byzantine era.
- 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.113.
- Finkelstein and Lederman, 1997, pp. 133-134
- Clermont-Garneau, 1896, p. 367
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 154
- Guérin, 1875, pp. 404- 13, 415-26
- Clermont-Ganneau, 1996, pp. 89, 219, 244, 358-374, (pic) 470 476
- Socin, 1879, p. 157
- Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, pp. 297-298
- Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramleh, p. 21
- Mills, 1932, p.67
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 30
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 67
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 116
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 166
- The series of Israeli annexation and threatening are now targeting Al-Midya village in Ramallah District Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem. 14 August 2003.
- Kelly and Maghan, 1998, pp. 94-95
- Ayalon Valley - On the Maccabee trail
- The Hasmoneans were here - maybe
- Re'em, 2011, Horbat Ha-Gardi, Final Report
- Barda, Leticia; Haiman, Mordechai (2005-03-10). "Horbat Ha-Gardi, Development Survey in the Area" (117). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Clermont-Ganneau, Charles Simon (1896). [ARP] Archaeological Researches in Palestine 1873-1874, translated from the French by J. McFarlane. 2. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1882). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. 2. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. (p. 341 ff, pic.)
- Dauphin, Claudine (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations. BAR International Series 726 (in French). III : Catalogue. Oxford: Archeopress. ISBN 0-860549-05-4. p. 834-5?
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Finkelstein, Israel; Lederman, Zvi, eds. (1997). Highlands of many cultures. Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University Publications Section. ISBN 965-440-007-3.
- Guérin, Victor (1875). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 2: Samarie, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
- Kelly, Robert J.; Maghan, Jess (1998). Hate Crime: The Global Politics of Polarization. SIU Press. ISBN 0809322102.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. (pp. 235 239)
- Re'em, Amit (2011-06-30). "Horbat Ha-Gardi, Final Report" (123). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 2: 135–163.