Biyar 'Adas

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Biyar 'Adas

بِيار عدس

Bir Adas
"Shanti" house, ca 1948
"Shanti" house, ca 1948
Etymology: "The well of lentils"[1]
Biyar 'Adas is located in Mandatory Palestine
Biyar 'Adas
Biyar 'Adas
Coordinates: 32°09′27″N 34°55′15″E / 32.15750°N 34.92083°E / 32.15750; 34.92083Coordinates: 32°09′27″N 34°55′15″E / 32.15750°N 34.92083°E / 32.15750; 34.92083
Palestine grid142/173
Geopolitical entityMandatory Palestine
Date of depopulationApril 12, 1948[4]
 • Total5,492 dunams (5.492 km2 or 2.120 sq mi)
 • Total300[2][3]
Cause(s) of depopulationMilitary assault by Yishuv forces
Current LocalitiesAdanim,[5] Elishama[5]

Biyar 'Adas (Arabic: بِيار عدس‎) was a Palestinian Arab village located 19 km northeast of the city of Tel Aviv. In 1945 the village had a population of 300 and a total land area of 5,492 dunums.


Ottoman Empire[edit]

In 1870 Victor Guérin noted it as located on a small height,[6] and an Ottoman village list from about the same year showed that Bijar 'Adas had a population of 198 in a total of 60 houses, though that population count included men, only. It was further noted that the name meant "The cistern of lentils".[7]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Biyar 'Adas as a village built of adobe bricks, with a well to the east.[8]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Biar Adas had a population of 87, all Muslims,[9] increasing in the 1931 census to 161, still all Muslim, in a total of 28 houses.[10]

In the early hours of May 29, 1939, 25 members of the Irgun led by Moshe Moldovsky attacked Biyar 'Adas.[11][12] They forced their way into two houses and shot dead one man and four women.[11] Two men and a girl were wounded.[11] A letter from Ze'ev Jabotinsky to the Irgun command ordered that the organization must avoid giving the impression that women were being deliberately targeted.[12]

In the 1945 statistics the village had a total of 1,604 dunums of land used for citrus and bananas, 3,413 dunums to cereals, 181 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards,[5][13] while 14 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[14]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

The village became depopulated after an assault by the Lehi, an offshoot of the Irgun on April 12, 1948.[4][15][16] Later that year, Yosef Weitz set about levelling Biyar 'Adas.[17][18]

After the war the area was incorporated into the State of Israel. The moshav of Adanim was established on village land, southwest of the village site, in 1950. In 1951 another moshav, Elishama, was built on land that had belonged to Biyar 'Adas.[5]

Khalidi described the place in 1992:

The site is marked by cactuses, fig trees, palm trees, and the debris of houses. Some houses and sections of houses that were built among citrus groves still stand, deserted, amidst wild vegetation. All are made of concrete and possess a variety of architectural designs, ranging from the elaborate to the simple. Their roofs are flat, slanted, or gabled, and their doors and windows are rectangular. The land in the vicinity is cultivated and is covered in places by Israeli fruit orchards.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 214
  2. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 27
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 52
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #194. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p.239
  6. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 369
  7. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 148
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 251. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 238.
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jaffa, p. 20
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 13
  11. ^ a b c "5 Arabs dead in Outrage". Palestine Post. May 30, 1939. p. 1.
  12. ^ a b Ehud Ein-Gil (January 13, 2009). "'Punish those responsible'". Haaretz.
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 95
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 145
  15. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 127, note #479, p. 158
  16. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 246, notes #639-642, p. 298
  17. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 314
  18. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 350, note #55, p. 398


External links[edit]