Khirbat al-Sawamir

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Khirbat al-Sawamir
Khirbat al-Sawamir is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khirbat al-Sawamir
Khirbat al-Sawamir
Name meaning "Places of nocturnal entertainment"[1]
Subdistrict Haifa
Coordinates 32°37′43″N 34°57′30″E / 32.62861°N 34.95833°E / 32.62861; 34.95833Coordinates: 32°37′43″N 34°57′30″E / 32.62861°N 34.95833°E / 32.62861; 34.95833
Palestine grid 146/226
Population 1439, together with Ayn Ghazal[2] (1931)
Date of depopulation May 22, 1948
Current localities Ofer[3]

Khirbat al-Sawamir was a Palestinian Arab village in the Haifa Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on May 22, 1948. It was located 22 kilometres south of Haifa.


Burial places cut into rock, and ceramics from the Byzantine era have been found here.[4]

Ottoman era[edit]

Khirbat al-Sawamir was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers under the name of Sawamir, as being in the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Ramla, which was under the administration of the liwa ("district") of Gaza. It had a population of 3 household,[5] an estimated 17 persons,[6] who were all Muslims. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25 % on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 5,500 Akçe.[5]

The village appeared, though misplaced, under the name of Sawama on the map that Pierre Jacotin compiled during Napoleon's invasion of 1799.[7]

In 1859, the population was estimated to be 120 persons, with 15 feddans of cultivated area.[8]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Suamir as a small adobe village at the edge of the plain, with a well to the west.[8]

In the early twentieth century travellers noted that the village was better built that the usual Fellahin village.[9]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Al Sawamer had a population of 17 Muslims,[10] In 1931 census, the population was counted with that of Ayn Ghazal, together they had 1,439 Muslims, in 247 houses.[2] In the Village Statistics, 1945, the name of the village was not mentioned.

1948, aftermath[edit]

Following the 1948 war the area was incorporated into the State of Israel. The moshav of Ofer was established in 1950 partly on the land of Khirbat al-Sawamir, and partly on the land of Ayn Ghazal.[3]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 153
  2. ^ a b Mills, 1932, p. 90
  3. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 191
  4. ^ Dauphin, 1992, p. 696
  5. ^ a b Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 158
  6. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 190
  7. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 163
  8. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p.43
  9. ^ Mülinen, 1908, pp. 284-285
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 34


External links[edit]