Bayt Umm al-Mays

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Bayt Umm al-Mays

بيت أم الميس
Village
Etymology: The house of the meis-tree (Cordia myxa)[1]
Bayt Umm al-Mays is located in Mandatory Palestine
Bayt Umm al-Mays
Bayt Umm al-Mays
Coordinates: 31°46′52″N 35°04′55″E / 31.78111°N 35.08194°E / 31.78111; 35.08194Coordinates: 31°46′52″N 35°04′55″E / 31.78111°N 35.08194°E / 31.78111; 35.08194
Palestine grid157/131
Geopolitical entityMandatory Palestine
SubdistrictJerusalem
Date of depopulationOctober 21, 1948[4]
Area
 • Total1,013 dunams (1.013 km2 or 250 acres)
Population
 (1945)
 • Total70[2][3]
Cause(s) of depopulationMilitary assault by Yishuv forces

Bayt Umm al-Mays was a small Palestinian Arab village in the Jerusalem Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on October 21, 1948 by the Har'el Brigade of Operation ha-Har. It was located 14 km west of Jerusalem.

History[edit]

In 1863, Victor Guérin found the remains of a small village, in the middle of which was a Muslim sanctuary. He further noted that the villagers had neither wells nor cisterns, but were obliged to fetch water from a rather distant spring.[5]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) noted at Beit Meis: "Ruined walls. No indication of age."[6]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1945 statistics, the village had a population of 70 Muslims[2] with 1,013 dunums of land.[3] Of this, 51 dunams were for irrigable land or plantations, 273 for cereals,[7] while 2 dunams were built-up, urban, land.[8]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

Bayt Umm al-Mays was depopulated October 21, 1948.[4]

Following the war, the area was incorporated into the State of Israel. According to Morris, Ramat Raziel was established near Bayt Umm al-Mays,[9] but according to Khalidi there are no Israeli settlements on village land.[10] In 1992 it was noted that "the site is covered with wild grass that grows around the remains of stone terraces. A few almond, olive and fig trees also grow along the terraces. The remains of the demolished house, which include fragments of an archway, stand at the northern end of the village; the ruins of another house stand at a short distance from the southern end, near a well. Two caves can be seen in the west. There are two very large stone slabs standing at the southern edge of the site, surrounded by bushes."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 286
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 24
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 56
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #344. Also gives cause of depopulation, both with a "?"
  5. ^ Guérin, 1869, pp. 9-10
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 85
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 102
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 152
  9. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xxi, settlement #40
  10. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 281

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]