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Etymology: probably from Gallaa[1][2]
Jilya is located in Mandatory Palestine
Coordinates: 31°46′06″N 34°51′52″E / 31.76833°N 34.86444°E / 31.76833; 34.86444Coordinates: 31°46′06″N 34°51′52″E / 31.76833°N 34.86444°E / 31.76833; 34.86444
Palestine grid137/130
Geopolitical entityMandatory Palestine
Date of depopulationJuly 9–10, 1948[5]
 • Total330[3][4]
Cause(s) of depopulationInfluence of nearby town's fall

Jilya was a Palestinian Arab village in the Ramle Subdistrict of Mandatory Palestine. The Romans referred to it as Jilya by Galla. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War by the Givati Brigade of the first stage of Operation Dani on July 9, 1948. It was located 17 km south of Ramla.


The Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) thought that Jilya was the Gallaa of the Onomasticon, mentioned as a town near Accaron.[2]

Ottoman era[edit]

Jilya, like all of Palestine was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517. In the 1596 tax registers, it was listed as an entirely Muslim village, located in the nahiya of Gazza in the liwa of Gazza, with a population of 17 families; an estimated population of 94.[6][7] The inhabitants paid a fixed tax rate of 33,3% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, vineyards, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 2,200 akçe.[6]

In 1882 the SWP described it as "an ordinary village of adobe and stone."[2]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Jilia had a population of 269, all Muslims,[8] increasing slightly in the 1931 census to 271 Muslims, in 63 houses.[9]

In the 1945 statistics, the population had increased to 330 Muslims,[3][4] while the total land area was 10,347 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[4] Of this, a total of 7,677 dunums of village land was used for cereals, 40 dunums were irrigated or used for plantations,[10] while 7 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[11]

1948, aftermath[edit]

Jilya was depopulated on July 9–10, 1948.[5] On 16 July 1948, during Operation An-Far, Givati HQ informed General Staff\Operations that "our forces have entered the villages of Qazaza, Kheima, Jilya, Idnibba, Mughallis, expelled the inhabitants, [and] blown up and torched a number of houses. The area is at the moment clear of Arabs."[12] On the July 19th, refugees near Jilya were warned by Israeli forces that they would be killed if they tried to return to their village.[13]

In 1992 it was noted about the village site: "The area is fenced in and inaccessible".[7]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 267
  2. ^ a b c Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 410
  3. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 29
  4. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 66
  5. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #266. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  6. ^ a b Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p.150
  7. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 385
  8. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramleh, p. 21
  9. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 20
  10. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 115
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 165
  12. ^ Givati HQ to General Staff\Operations, 20:50 hours, 16 July 1948, IDFA 922\75\\1176. See also Givati Brigade, "Combat Page", 16 July 1948, IDFA 6127\49\\118. Cited in Morris, 2004, pp. 436–7
  13. ^ Morris, 2004, p.443


External links[edit]