|Name meaning||The eastern nomads.|
|Also spelled||Suafir Abu Huwar; from an inhabitant who died in the 19th century|
|Date of depopulation||May 18, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Fear of being caught up in the fighting|
|Current localities||'En Tzurim, Shafir, Zerachya, Nir Banim|
Al-Sawafir al-Sharqiyya was a Palestinian Arab village in the Gaza Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 War on May 18, 1948, as part of the second stage of Operation Barak. The village was located 32 km northeast of Gaza.
Remains from the late Roman (third–fourth centuries CE), Byzantine (fifth–beginning of seventh centuries CE), and Abbasid eras have been found here. Columns and fragments were noted near the well.
Al-Sawafir al-Sharqiyya was like the rest of Palestine, incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and in the census of 1596, the village appeared as Sawafir as-Sarqi under the administration of the nahiya of Gaza, part of the Liwa of Gaza. The place was noted as hali, that is empty, but taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, vineyards, fruit trees and cotton; a total of 9,000 akçe.
British Mandate era
According to the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Al-Sawafir al-Sharqiyya had a population of 588 inhabitants, all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census to an all-Muslim population of 787 in 148 houses.
In 1945, it had a population of 970 Muslims, with a total of 13,831 dunams of land. Of this, 585 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 386 for plantations or irrigable land, 11,821 dunums were for cereals, while 40 dunams were classified as built-up, urban land.
The village shared a school with the other two Sawafir villages, and it had an enrollment of about 280 in 1945. The village had its own mosque.
1948 War and aftermath
In early May, 1948, the inhabitants of the three Al-Sawafir villages were ordered not to flee, by the Al-Majdal National Committee. At the 23 May, 1948, Israeli reports say that at all the three Al-Sawafir villages the inhabitants slept in the fields at night, but returned to work in the villages by day.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 274
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 32
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 46
- Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #285. Also gives the cause for depopulation, with a "?".
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 135
- Varga, 2009, Es-Sawafir esh-Sharqiya
- Dauphin, 1998, p. 869
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 142
- Guérin, 1869, pp. 82 -84
- Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 413
- Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Gaza, p. 8
- Mills, 1932, p. 6
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 88
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 138
- Morris, 2004, p. 179
- Morris, 2004, pp. 257-258
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- 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.
- Dauphin, Claudine (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations. BAR International Series 726 (in French). III : Catalogue. Oxford: Archeopress. ISBN 0-860549-05-4.
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Guérin, Victor (1869). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine. 1: Judee, pt. 2.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Centre.
- 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.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Nasser, Gamal Abdul (1955/1973): "Memoirs" in Journal of Palestine Studies
- " “Memoirs of the First Palestine War” in 2, no. 2 (Win. 73): 3-32, pdf-file, downloadable
- 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.
- Varga, Daniel (2009-08-05). "Es-Sawafir esh-Sharqiya (Shapira Center) Final Report" (121). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Welcome To al-Sawafir al-Sharqiyya
- al-Sawafir al-Sharqiyya, Zochrot
- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 16: IAA, Wikimedia commons
- al-Sawafir al-Sharqiyya, from the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
- "My village was attacked and burned down": a Nakba survivor speaks, Electronic Intifada