Khirbat Zalafa

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This article is about the depopulated Palestinian village. For the a Palestinian village that forms part of the Israeli local council of Ma'ale Iron, see Zalafa.
Khirbat Zalafa
Khirbat Zalafa is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khirbat Zalafa
Khirbat Zalafa
Arabic خربة زلفة
Name meaning "The cistern"[1]
Also spelled Khirbet Zalafa, Zalafa
Subdistrict Tulkarm
Coordinates 32°24′9.10″N 34°56′43.96″E / 32.4025278°N 34.9455444°E / 32.4025278; 34.9455444Coordinates: 32°24′9.10″N 34°56′43.96″E / 32.4025278°N 34.9455444°E / 32.4025278; 34.9455444
Palestine grid 144/201
Population 210[2] (1945)
Area 7,713 (6,865 Arab, 617 Jewish, 231 Public) dunams
7.7 km²
Date of depopulation April 15, 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Fear of being caught up in the fighting

Khirbat Zalafa (Arabic: خربة زلفة‎‎) was a small Palestinian Arab village in the Tulkarm Subdistrict, located about 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) northwest of Tulkarm. It was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine war. It was captured by Yishuv forces on April 15, 1948 as a part of operation "Coastal Clearing."[4]


Originally, the people of Khirbat Zalafa came from Attil to farm the village land. Gradually they settled in the village so they could be closer to their land. In the late 19th century, Khirbat Zalafa was described as a small hamlet with springs to the south.[5]

In the 1922 census of Palestine there were 63 villagers, all Muslim.[6] At the time of the 1931 census, the village was counted under Attil, together with Jalama and Al-Manshiyya.[7]

The village had a small core of houses, with many dwellings scattered throughout on the agricultural lands. The agriculture was based on watermelons, vegetables, grain and olives. In 1944/45 6,798 dunums were allotted to cereals, 38 dunum was devoted to citrus and bananas ad 6 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[8] while 3 dunams were classified as built-up, urban land.[9]

1948 and after[edit]

The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the village in 1992: "The village has been completely levelled. Both the original site and the surrounding lands are covered with Israeli citrus orchards."[10]

There are no Israeli settlements on village land.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 196
  2. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 21
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #185. Also gives cause(s) of depopulation.
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #185
  5. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 153. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 568
  6. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p. 28
  7. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 53
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 126 Also Khalidi, 1992, p. 568
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 176
  10. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 568


External links and references[edit]