Jaba', Haifa Subdistrict

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Amir sheikh north Jaba.jpg
Tomb of Shaykh Amir, Jaba, in 2013
Jaba' is located in Mandatory Palestine
Name meaningHill[1]
Also spelledDscheba,[2] Jeba[3]
Coordinates32°39′05″N 34°57′43″E / 32.65139°N 34.96194°E / 32.65139; 34.96194Coordinates: 32°39′05″N 34°57′43″E / 32.65139°N 34.96194°E / 32.65139; 34.96194
Palestine grid146/228
Population1,140[4][5] (1945)
Area7,012[5] dunams
Date of depopulation24–26 July 1948[6]
Cause(s) of depopulationMilitary assault by Yishuv forces
Current localitiesGeva Karmel[7][8]

Jaba' (Arabic: جبع‎), also known as Gaba, or Geba, in historical writings, was a Palestinian Arab village in the Haifa Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on July 24, 1948 as part of Operation Shoter. It was located 18.5 km south of Haifa, near Carmel, and ca. 3.25 kilometers (2.02 mi) east of the Mediterranean Sea.


Classic era[edit]

The village features prominently in the writings of the Jewish historian, Josephus.[9] In the late 1st century BCE, Herod the Great had built the village for his veteran cavalry, and called it the city of horsemen.[10][11]

Ottoman era[edit]

Incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, like all of Palestine, in the 1596 tax registers, it was part of the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Jabal Atlit, part of the larger Sanjak of Lajjun. It had a population of 18 households, all Muslims. The inhabitants paid a fixed tax rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 7,800 akçe.[12][13]

In 1859, the English Consul Rogers found the population to be 150 souls, with 18 feddans of cultivation.[3]

In 1873, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) visited and found: “There are two closed rock tombs in the ledge south of the village, and a third with a courtyard 14 feet square, sunk 2 feet ; two doors lead into chambers. One has three loculi, one on each wall ; the other has two loculi and a recess 5 feet 6 inches, with two parallel graves under one arcosolium placed like kokim with the feet to the chamber. This is therefore a transitional example. (Compare Sheikh Ibreik.)

There are several caves north of the village, and another tomb at the head of the valley forming the recess in which the village stands."[14]

In 1882, the SWP described it: "A small village in a recess on the hill-slope close to the plain ; the houses principally of stone. It has a good olive-yard on the west below the village, in which yard the Survey Camp was placed. The water-supply is from a well on the north-west, which has a wheel and troughs. The place seems ancient, having rock-cut tombs and caves.[3]

Jaba' had an elementary school for boys, which was founded by the Ottomans in 1885.[15]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the British Mandate of Palestine period, in the 1922 census of Palestine Jaba had a population of 523; all Muslims,[16] increasing in the 1931 census to 762; 2 Christians and the rest Muslim, in a total of 158 houses.[17]

In the 1945 statistics this had increased to 1,140, all Muslims[4] with a total of 7,012 dunams of land.[5] Of this, 450 dunums were plantations or irrigable land, 4,255 were for cereals,[18] while 60 dunams were classified built-up, (urban), land.[19]

Mosaic remains, tombs cut into the rock, and other architectural features remain.[15]

1948, aftermath[edit]

Jaba was in the territory allotted to the Jewish state under the 1947 UN Partition Plan.[20] During the war the militia from the village fired on Jewish vehicles along the essential coast road.[21] In early June 1948, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) report shows that Ja'ba, together with Ijzim and Ayn Ghazal, were asking the IDF, "to open negotiation for surrender." Nothing resulted from the request.[22] On 14 July, before the Second truce of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Israeli cabinet discussed the three villages in "The Little Triangle". Ben-Gurion said that there was no need to hurry:

"these villages are in our pocket [...] We can act against them also after the [reinstitution of the] truce. This will be a police action... They are not regarded as enemy forces as their area is ours [i.e., in Israel] and they are inhabitants of the state...[and] these villages do not represent a military danger."[23]

The second truce, beginning on the 18 July, was not violated by the villagers.[24]

According to Meron Benvenisti, IDF actions over course of the Second Truce were concentrated on "cleansing" small clusters of Arab villages located in "strategic" areas.[25] Ja'ba was depopulated along with two other villages (Ijzim and 'Ayn Ghazal) located on the western slopes of the Carmel mountains between July 24 and 26.[25] A week after the start of the truce, Israel undertook Operation Shoter ("Operation Policeman"), with the aim of conquering the "Little Triangle" villages.[26] The operation was executed by a combination of brigades from the Israel Defense Forces and the military police.[25] On July 25, street fighting was reported from Ayn Ghazal and Ja'ba. On the morning of the next day, the villages were found deserted.[26]

In September, 1948, when the UN demanded the right of the villagers to return, the Israelis said that the village had fired on Jewish vehicles along a coast road, and therefore denied their return.[27]

Following the war the area was incorporated into the State of Israel. The moshav of Geva Carmel was established around one kilometer northwest of the old village site, on village land.[7]

In 1992 the village site was described: "Piles of stone rubble can be seen on the site. A shrine still standing on an elevated part of it. Pine forests grow on the land in the vicinity, which is fenced in by barbed wire. Around the village are the remains of tombs. Parts of the site is used by Israelis as grazing land."[15]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 147
  2. ^ Mülinen, 1908, p.283
  3. ^ a b c Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP, II, p. 42
  4. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 14
  5. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 48
  6. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #168. Also gives cause of depopulation
  7. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, pp. 166, 188
  8. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xxii, settlement #120
  9. ^ Josephus, Wars of the Jews (ii.xviii.§1); Life of Josephus, p. 77.
  10. ^ Schürer, 1891, §23 (The Hellenistic Towns), pp. 127–128.
  11. ^ Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews (xv.viii.§5); Wars of the Jews (iii.iii.§1); called Geba by Pliny, Natural History (v.19.75). see: Josephus. "The Jewish War". doi:10.4159/DLCL.josephus-jewish_war.1927. Retrieved 10 August 2016.  – via digital Loeb Classical Library (subscription required).
  12. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 158
  13. ^ According to the estimate of Khalidi, there were 99 persons in the village. Khalidi, 1992, p. 165
  14. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 54
  15. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 166
  16. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 33
  17. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 92
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 90
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 140
  20. ^ "Map of UN Partition Plan". United Nations. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  21. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 438
  22. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 96, note #172, logbook entry, IDF, for 9. June.p. 146
  23. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 438- 439, note #146, p. 457
  24. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 441, note #169, pp. 458- 459 citing the investigating "Central Truce Supervision Board", chaired by US Brigadier General W.E. Riley. This board also found that the IDF assault on the villages had been a violation of the truce.
  25. ^ a b c Benvenisti, 2000, p. 152.
  26. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 439
  27. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 441 notes #170, 171, p. 459


External links[edit]