Dayr Muhaysin

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Dayr Muhaysin
Dayr Muhaysin is located in Mandatory Palestine
Dayr Muhaysin
Dayr Muhaysin
Dayr Muhaysin in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic دير مُحيسن
Name meaning the monastery of good deeds[1]
Also spelled Umm esh Shukf
Subdistrict Ramle
Coordinates 31°49′37″N 34°55′56″E / 31.82694°N 34.93222°E / 31.82694; 34.93222Coordinates: 31°49′37″N 34°55′56″E / 31.82694°N 34.93222°E / 31.82694; 34.93222
Palestine grid 143/137
Population 460[2][3] (1945)
Date of depopulation April 6, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Beqoa'[5]

Dayr Muhaysin (Arabic: دير محيسن‎, Hebrew: דיר מוחיסין‎) was a Palestinian village in the Ramle Subdistrict of Mandatory Palestine, located 12 km southeast of Ramla and 4 km west of Latrun. It was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine war.


It has been suggested by the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine that Dayr Muhaysin was one of the Crusader villages which was given by the 12th century King Baldwin V as a fief to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.[6]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1838, it was noted as a Muslim village in the southern part of the Er-Ramleh area.[7]

In 1863, Victor Guérin found a village of some twenty half destroyed and deserted houses, under a large mimosa tree.[8]

The village was mentioned in an official Ottoman village list from around 1870, showing it had 10 houses and a population of 29, though the population count included men only.[9][10]

In 1883, the "Survey of Western Palestine" found at Dayr Muhaysin: "Traces of a former village; a conspicuous white mound, with cisterns and caves; a large site, also known as Umm esh Shukf."[11]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1931 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Deir Muheisin had a population of 113; all Muslims, in a total of 28 houses.[12]

In 1945, the village had a population of 460 Muslims,[2] while the total land area was 10,008 dunams (equivalent to the Greek stremma or English/American acre), according to an official land and population survey.[3] Of this, 45 dunams were plantations or irrigated, 7,909 for cereals,[13] while 72 dunams were classified as built-up public areas.[14]

1947–1948 war, and aftermath[edit]

In December 1947 the village was evacuated. The Jewish Haganah paramilitary force paved an alternative route from Al-Masmiyya to Latrun, in order not to pass through the Palestinian Arab city of Ramla but the alternative route passed near the village. In the first month of the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine there were attacks on Jewish transportation. In these attacks two high Jewish commanders were killed and according to Israeli historian Yoav Gelber, fear from acts of revenge led the villagers to temporarily evacuate.[15][16]

The village was captured on April 6, 1948 during Operation Nachshon. The operational orders were to treat all Arab villages on the Khulda – Jerusalem corridor as "enemy assembly of jump off places", and such villages were to be destroyed and the villagers expelled. Dayr Muhaysin, Khulda and Saydun were the three first target villages.[17][18][19]

In 1951, the Israeli settlement of Beko'a was established on village land, northwest of the village site.[5]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 367
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 29
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 66
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #327. Also gives cause for depopulation
  5. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 378
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 11
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 120
  8. ^ Guérin, 1869, pp. 32–33
  9. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 152
  10. ^ Hartman, 1883, p. 140
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 274
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 19
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 114
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 164
  15. ^ Yoav Gelber, Independence Versus Nakba; Kinneret–Zmora-Bitan–Dvir Publishing, 2004, ISBN 965-517-190-6, p.139
  16. ^ Gelber, 2006, p. 77
  17. ^ Esber, 2008, pp. 182–184
  18. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 233 −235
  19. ^ Gelber, 2006, p. 100


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