Al-Jalama, Tulkarm

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Sheet 11.part.jpg
1870s map of the area around Al Jalama
Al-Jalama is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic الجلمه
Name meaning "The heap"[1]
Subdistrict Tulkarm
Coordinates 32°23′32″N 35°00′35″E / 32.39222°N 35.00972°E / 32.39222; 35.00972Coordinates: 32°23′32″N 35°00′35″E / 32.39222°N 35.00972°E / 32.39222; 35.00972
Palestine grid 151/199
Population 70[2][3][4] (1945)
Date of depopulation 1 March 1950[5]
Current localities Lehavot Haviva

Al-Jalama (Arabic: الجلمه‎‎) or Khirbat al-Jalama (Arabic: خربة الجلمه‎‎) was a Palestinian Arab village 8.5 kilometres (5.3 mi) north of Tulkarm. Situated close to the eastern banks of a valley of the same name (Wadi Jalama), it was inhabited during the Crusader and Mamluk periods, and again in Ottoman period by villagers from nearby Attil.

Al-Jalama's population was expelled by the Israeli military on 1 March 1950 after it fell under Israeli rule as a result of the 1949 armistice agreement that ended the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.


In the Crusader period, Khirbet al-Jalama was known as Gelenna. After the Mamluks took over, sultan Baybars apparently made a grant of the village land to three of his amirs in 1265.[4]

Ottoman era[edit]

Al-Jalama was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and by 1596 it was named Jalama dir Qaqun, part of nahiya (subdistrict) of Sara under the liwa' (district) of Lajjun. With an all-Muslim population of 7 households, taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, occasional revenues, beehives and/or goats.[6]

Pierre Jacotin named the village Tour de Zeitah on his map from Napoleon's invasion in 1799. The French fought a battle here, which is known as the "Battle of Zeita".[7]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described the village as a small adobe hamlet, situated on the side of a knoll.[8]

British Mandate era[edit]

The modern village originated from farmland, belonging to the inhabitants of Attil. The farmers settled on the land nearby, and in the 1922 census there were 29 villagers, all Muslim.[4][9] In the 1931 census of Palestine it was counted under Attil (together with Al-Manshiyya and Zalafa),[10] while by 1945 al-Jalama had grown to a population of 70,[3] mainly belonging to two extended families, the Nadaf and the Daqqa.[11]

As the village was constructed on an old site, some archaeological remains were used for constructing houses. The houses were mainly constructed of stone or adobe. In the 1930s and 1940s, some houses were constructed of cement. The villagers, who were Muslim, grew watermelons, oranges and other crops. A well, 500 metres (1,600 ft) east of the village, provided water for domestic needs.[4]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

On the 3 April 1949, al-Jalama came under Israeli control with the signing of the Jordan–Israel Mixed Armistice Commission.[11][12] According to Article VI, section 6 in this Armistice Agreement, the villagers were "protected in, their full rights of residence, property and freedom." However, the Israeli annexation of the villages made them subject to laws that had the purpose of stripping them of their land so that the land could then be given to Jewish settlements, and to eliminate the possibility of return.[11][13]

During the period of clearing the borders of Palestinians, Israel emptied al-Jalama (now consisting of 225 people) on 1 March 1950.[5] They were expelled by the military to the neighbouring village of Jatt, a move that Meron Benvenisti called "unquestionably illegal".[14] The villagers petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel for permission to return, which was granted in June 1952. However, members from the kibbutz Lehavot Haviva had settled on their land. On 11 August 1953, they blew up the remaining houses in al-Jalama, thereby making sure that the Palestinian landowners could not return. The kibbutzniks claimed that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had ordered them to do this and had given them funds for that purpose. The IDF denied this.[5] Israel then passed several retroactive laws that legalised the expropriation of the al-Jalama land.[15]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 183
  2. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 21
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 75
  4. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 554
  5. ^ a b c Morris, 2004, pp. 533-4
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 160
  7. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 170
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 152
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p.27
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 53
  11. ^ a b c Benvenisti, 2002, p. 157
  12. ^ UN Doc S/1302/Rev.1 of 3 April 1949
  13. ^ Benvenisti, 2002, p. 158
  14. ^ Benvenisti, 2002, p. 160
  15. ^ Benvenisti, 2002, p. 161


External links[edit]