|Date of depopulation||October 22, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Matta, Bar Giora|
Allar (Arabic: علار) or 'Allar el-Fawqa ("Upper Allar") was a Palestinian Arab village located southwest of the Old City of Jerusalem near Wadi Surar ("Valley of Pebbles"), along Wadi Tannur. The name was shared by the twin village of Allar al-Sifla ("Lower Allar") or Khirbat al-Tannur, with official imperial ledgers often listing them both under the single entry of Allar.
Habitation in the village spanned centuries and is attested in architectural remains and documents from the Crusader, Mamluk, Ottoman and Mandate Palestine periods. Allar was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine war and the Israeli moshavs of Matta and Bar Giora were established on its former lands.
The older of the two villages appears to have been Lower Allar. Remains of a Crusader-era church and cloister made up of five other vaulted buildings attest to habitation there in the 12th century. One of these buildings is thought to be a Cistercian house, a sister house of Belmont built in 1161, known as Saluatio.
From the 13th to 16th centuries, the villages were ruled by the Mamluk Sultanate based in Cairo and appear together in a document dating to circa 1264 that lists land grants made in Palestine by the sultan Baybars to his emir.s
Toward the beginning of four centuries of rule over the area by the Ottoman Empire, in August 1553, two leaders of Allar were held accountable for the village failure to pay taxes and were arrested by the imperial authorities. The imperial defter of 1596 lists Allar as part of the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Jerusalem with 204 inhabitants who paid taxes on wheat, barley, olive trees, molasses, goats, and beehives.
The waqf custodian of the mosque in Allar (and that of Bayt Nuba) in 1810 was appointed by the Ottoman authorities, and hailed from the Jerusalem family of notables, the Dajanis. Also in the village was a shrine dedicated to al-Shaykh Ibrahim ("Abraham the Sheikh").
Western travellers who wrote of the village include Edward Robinson, who travelled throughout Palestine and Syria in 1838 and Victor Guérin, whose travels spanned many years in the latter half of the 19th century. Both describe Lower and Upper Allar as two distinct villages located in a valley. Robinson calls it er-Rumany wadi ("Pomegranate Valley"), while Guérin calls it Oued el-Limoun ("Valley of the Lemons/Limes"), so named because of the abundant presence of a variety of citrus tree there known to the Arabs as limoun. Both note the presence of a large, ancient, ruined church in Lower Allar. Robinson describes a fine fountain further up the valley that irrigated fruit trees and gardens below, noting the abundance of olive trees. Guérin describes A'llar es-Sifla ou et-Tahta as an oasis covered in grape vines, citrus, pomengranate and fig trees, irrigated by an ancient canal and a second inexhaustible water source. An Ottoman village list from about 1870 counted 56 houses and a population of 176, though the population count included men only.
The inhabitants of Upper Allar moved to Lower Allar at the end of the 19th century.
British Mandate era
In 1945, Allar had a population of 440 Muslims, and the total land area was 12,356 dunams. 353 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, 2,234 dunams were for cereals, while 12 dunams were built-up (urban) Arab land.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Allar was depopulated as a result of a military assault by Israeli forces on 22 October 1948. It was one of a series of villages occupied during Operation Ha-Har, an offensive launched by Harel Brigade and Etzioni Brigade to widen the Jerusalem corridor.
The operation began on the night of 18–19 October with an attack on the Egyptian Army/Muslim Brotherhood forces stationed in the village to defend it alongside local militia. Great care was taken not to draw Transjordan's Arab Legion into the battle. The Egyptian army was forced to retreat to the west, and several villages southwest of Jerusalem were captured. A one-time resident of Allar during the hostilities of 1948 has said that the people of Allar, upon hearing the sound of gunfire from the direction of Dayr al-Hawa, were gripped with fear and trepidation. When they were told that some of the residents in Dayr al-Hawa had been killed, out of concern for their own safety, the villagers took flight, taking with them provisions and bedding material for their needs, and the last of that summer's harvest from their fields (wheat and lentils), fleeing by lorry to al-Khader, whence they found temporary shelter in caves around Bayt Jala, before eventually settling in Dheisheh Camp. Refugees who camped in the nearby gullies and caves were driven out in subsequent raids.
Refugees from Allar and other Palestinian villages who are old enough to remember life there express nostalgia for the natural abundance of the land lost. One Umm Jamal recalls eggplants, pomegranates, cucumbers and green beans as among the many products grown on the village lands which were fed by springs known to locals as Umm al-Hasan ("Mother of Goodness"), Umm al-Sa'd ("Mother of Happiness"), Umm Nuh ("Mother of Noah"), al-'Uyun ("The Eyes"), and Umm al-'Uyun ("Mother of the Eyes").
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 24
- Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #346. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Petersen, 2001, p. 92.
- Pringle, 1993, pp. 47-51
- Singer, 1993, p. 44
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p.113, cited in Khalidi, 1992, p.266
- Khalidi, 1992, pp. 266-267
- Kushner, 1986, p.111
- Robinson and Smith, 1841, p. 340
- Guérin, 1869, p. 379-380
- Socin, 1879, p. 143
- Kark and Oren-Nordheim, 2001, pp. 267, 275-276
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 56
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 101
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 151
- 'Allar, Palestine Family.net Allar, Palestine Family.net
- Heally Gross, Adamah Ahuvah, Jerusalem 2013, pp. 62-63 (Hebrew), taken from the testimony of an Arab resident, Leṭifa, who was born in Allar.
- Davis, 2011, p. 24
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1883). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. 3. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. (p.25)
- Davis, Rochelle (2011). Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-7313-3.
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Guérin, Victor (1869). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 1: Judee, 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.
- Kark, Ruth; Oren-Nordheim, Michal (2001). Jerusalem and its environs: quarters, neighborhoods, villages, 1800-1948 (Illustrated ed.). Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-2909-2.
- 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.
- Kushner, David (1986). Palestine in the late Ottoman period: political, social, and economic transformation. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-07792-8.
- 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.
- 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. (p. 283 )
- Petersen, Andrew (2001). A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine (British Academy Monographs in Archaeology). 1. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-727011-0.
- Pringle, Denys (1993). The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A-K (excluding Acre and Jerusalem). I. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0 521 39036 2.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1856). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838. 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- Singer, Amy (1994). Palestinian peasants and Ottoman officials: rural administration around sixteenth-century Jerusalem (3rd, Illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-47679-9.
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 2: 135–163.