Danna, Baysan

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For the island in Scotland, see Danna, Scotland.
Danna is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic دنه
Name meaning the Amphora[1]
Subdistrict Baysan
Coordinates 32°36′46.5″N 35°28′27.5″E / 32.612917°N 35.474306°E / 32.612917; 35.474306Coordinates: 32°36′46.5″N 35°28′27.5″E / 32.612917°N 35.474306°E / 32.612917; 35.474306
Palestine grid 194/224
Population 190[2][3] (1945)
Area 6,614 dunams
6.6 km²
Date of depopulation 28 May 1948

Danna (Arabic: دنه‎) was a Palestinian village 13 kilometres north of Baysan that was captured by the Israel Defense Forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and the villagers were expelled.[4]


In 1596, Danna was part of the Ottoman Empire, nahiya (subdistrict) of Shafa under the liwa' (district) of Lajjun with a population of 5 Muslim families, (estimated 28 people). It paid taxes to the Ottoman government on a number of crops, including wheat and barley, and other types of produce, such as goats and beehives.[5]

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss traveler to Palestine who passed through the area around 1817, mentioned the village without providing an description.[6][7]

Victor Guérin described in 1875 the village as being "humble", and situated on a hill. He noted that it had once been much larger, as north of the village centre were ruins of houses.[8] In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Danna as being situated on a slope, and surrounded by farmland. There was a spring with a watering trough to the west. The village houses were built of stone and adobe.[9]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the Mandatory Palestine authorities, Danna had a population of 176 Muslims,[10] decreasing in the 1931 census to 149, still all Muslims, in 28 houses.[11]

The village was shaped like a rectangle whose longer sides were aligned in a north-south direction. During this era the village expanded and new houses, constructed of stone and adobe brick, were built along the road to the nearby village of Kafra. It was classified as a hamlet in the Palestine Index Gazetteer. There were a few shops and a mosque which contained the shrine of a Shaykh Daniyal. The village spring provided water for all the residents. The villagers worked primarily in rainfed agriculture.[12] In 1944/45 a total of 5,097 dunams was allotted to cereals; 14 dunams were irrigated or used for orchards,[13] while 15 were built-up (urban) land.[14] Grass and leafy vegetation grew on the slopes and peaks of the neighboring mountains and were used for grazing.[12]

1948, aftermath[edit]

On the 28 May 1948 the village was captured by Israeli forces, and the villagers were expelled.[4]

According to the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, 1992, the remaining structures on the village land were:

"Bushes, cactus plants, thorns, and grass now grow around piles of rubble on the village site. Thick weeds grow in the wadi and near the springs. The lands in the area are cultivated by Israeli farmers."[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 160
  2. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 43
  3. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 6
  4. ^ a b c Morris, 2004, p. xvii village #111. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 157, also cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 45
  6. ^ Burckhardt, 1822, p. 342
  7. ^ Also cited in Khalidi 1992, p. 46 (wrongly cited to p. 842)
  8. ^ Guérin,1880, pp. 128-129
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p.83. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.46
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, p. 31
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 78
  12. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p.46
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 84
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 134


External links[edit]