Khirbat Zakariyya

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Khirbat Zakariyya
Remains of Khirbat Zakariyya, 2016
Khirbat Zakariyya is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khirbat Zakariyya
Khirbat Zakariyya
Arabic خربة زكريا
Name meaning Neby Zakarîya, the prophet Zechariah[1]
Subdistrict Ramle
Coordinates 31°56′16″N 34°58′12″E / 31.93778°N 34.97000°E / 31.93778; 34.97000Coordinates: 31°56′16″N 34°58′12″E / 31.93778°N 34.97000°E / 31.93778; 34.97000
Palestine grid 147/148
Area 4,538[2][3] dunams
Date of depopulation July 12-13, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Secondary cause Influence of nearby town's fall

Khirbat Zakariyya (Arabic: خربة زكريا‎) was a Palestinian village in the Ramle Subdistrict of Mandatory Palestine. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War on July 12, 1948 under the second stage of Operation Dani. It was located 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Ramla.


Archeological excavations have revealed a winepress and a crushing basin of an olive press among other structures hewn in a limestone, possibly from the Byzantine era.[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1870 the French explorer Victor Guérin described the ruins there: "at this moment they are covered with magnificent harvests, in the midst of which I observe many sherds of antique pottery, and a considerable number of cubes of mosaic scattered on the ground. Several tombs and some ancient cisterns attract my attention. The most considerable ruins are those on a mound, where the remains of a rather powerful construction are seen in large blocks, of which only a few arches remain.

Mr. Ganneau, who has visited since Khar'bet Zakarieh/Khurbet el Kelkh, has found there a beautiful baptistery with a Greek inscription bearing the name of the donor Sophronia, and in a sepulchral cave in the same place another Greek inscription of The Christian era."[6][7]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine also noted the font at Khurbet el Kelkh, and compared it with the one found at Tuqu'.[8] They further noted: "Foundations of large rough stones surround the little kubbeh of Neby Zakariya, and appear ancient."[9] At nearby el Habs they found what would "appear to have been a hermit's cell, consisting of a long excavated chamber, with windows opening north-wards, cut high up in a scarp of rock facing north."[10]

British Manadate era[edit]

In the 1945 statistics the village had 4,538 dunams of land.[2][3] Of this, a total of 2,161 dunams were used for cereals,[11] while 2,377 dunams were classified as non-cultivable areas.[12]

Khirbat Zakariyya was destroyed with the exception of its well. A shrine was also located to the south of the village center.

1948, aftermath[edit]

Khirbat Zakariyya became depopulated on July 12-13, 1948, after a military assault by Israeli forces.[4][13][14][15][16]

The Israeli settlement of Mevo Modi'im was established in 1964 just northeast of Khirbat Zakariyya land.[17]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 240
  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. 67
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xix village #231. Also gives causes of depopulation.
  5. ^ Shachar, 2017, Horbat Zekharya
  6. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. p. 53
  7. ^ Clermont-Ganneau, 1896, pp. 354-358; 478
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 336
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 358
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 321
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 116
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 166
  13. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 354
  14. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 376
  15. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 433
  16. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 435
  17. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 424


External links[edit]