Kasla, Jerusalem

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PikiWiki Israel 20738 The Palmach.jpg
Kasla, in 1948
Kasla is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic كسلا
Name meaning from personal name[1]
Subdistrict Jerusalem
Coordinates 31°46′52″N 35°03′04″E / 31.78111°N 35.05111°E / 31.78111; 35.05111Coordinates: 31°46′52″N 35°03′04″E / 31.78111°N 35.05111°E / 31.78111; 35.05111
Palestine grid 154/132
Population 280[2][3] (1945)
Area 8,004[3] dunams
Date of depopulation July 17–18, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Ramat Razi'el,[5] Kesalon[5]

Kasla was a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War on July 17, 1948 by the Harel Brigade of Operation Dani. It was located 17 km west of Jerusalem.


The village was ancient, with antique remains incorporated into houses.[6] The Canaanites, Israelites and Romans referred to Kasla as the city of Chesalon.[7] Kasla has several khirbas including a shrine for a local sage known as al-Shaykh Ahmad.[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

Kasla was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers under the name of Kisli, or Kisla, as being in the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Ramla, which was under the administration of the liwa ("district") of Gaza. It had a population of 11 household;[8] an estimated 61 persons,[7] who were all Muslims They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25 % on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, fruit trees, sesame, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 1,280 Akçe. All of the revenue went to a Waqf.[8]

In 1863 Victor Guérin described it a being situated on a ridge,[9] while an Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed Kesla with a population of 83, in 29 houses, though the population count included men only. It was also noted that to was located 3 1/2 to 4 hours west of Jerusalem.[10][11]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Kesla as "a small stone village in a conspicuous position on the top of a rugged ridge, with a deep valley to the north. There is a spring to the east, and two more in a valley to the south. This is the site of Chesalon."[12]

In 1896 the population of Kesla was estimated to be about 207 persons.[13]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kasala had a population of 233 Muslims,[14] increasing in the 1931 census to 299 Muslims, in 72 houses.[15]

In 1945, the village had a population of 280 Muslims,[2] while the total land area was 8,004 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[3] Of this, 440 were used for plantations and irrigable land, 2,265 for cereals,[16] while 10 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[17]

1948 Arab–Israeli War[edit]

Kasla, along with four other villages, were overtaken by the Israeli Harel Brigade on 17–18 July 1948 in Operation Dani. The villages had been on the front line since April 1948 and most of the inhabitants of these villages had already left the area. Many of those who stayed fled when Israeli forces attacked and the few who remained at each village were expelled.[18]



  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 298
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 25
  3. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 57
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #338. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 299
  6. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 903
  7. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 298
  8. ^ a b Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 155
  9. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 11
  10. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 156
  11. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 145, also noted 29 houses
  12. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, pp. 25-26
  13. ^ Schick, 1896, p. 123
  14. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 15
  15. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 41
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 103
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 153
  18. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 436


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