Khirbat al-Sarkas

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Khirbat al-Sarkas
Khirbat al-Sarkas is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khirbat al-Sarkas
Khirbat al-Sarkas
Arabic خربة السركس
Name meaning lit. "The ruins of the Circassians"
Also spelled Khirbet as Sarkas
Subdistrict Haifa
Coordinates 32°26′49.20″N 34°57′36.91″E / 32.4470000°N 34.9602528°E / 32.4470000; 34.9602528Coordinates: 32°26′49.20″N 34°57′36.91″E / 32.4470000°N 34.9602528°E / 32.4470000; 34.9602528
Palestine grid 146/205
Population 383 (1931)
Area dunams
Date of depopulation 15 April 1948[1]
Cause(s) of depopulation Expulsion by Yishuv forces
Current localities Gan Shemu'el,[2] Talmey El'azar[2]

Khirbat al-Sarkas (Arabic: خربة السركس‎‎) was a village in Palestine, located 42 kilometres south of Haifa. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.


The village was founded by Circassians from Russia who were expelled from their country by the armies of the Czar in the 19th century, approximately 1860.[3] The village was abandoned by the Circassians because of a Malaria epidemic. It was then settled by local Muslim Arabs.[citation needed]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kherbet al-Sharkas had a population of 74; all Muslims,[4] increasing sharply in the 1931 census to 383, still all Muslim, in a total of 80 houses.[5]

Though the Arab Higher Command had ordered the evacuation of the village's women and children three times prior to April 1948, the villagers did not leave.[6] Described by Benny Morris as "a friendly village", it was nonetheless one of the villages depopulated at the order of the Israeli Haganah, per their policy to clear the coastal plain of Arab villages in the lead up to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.[6] The women and children left between 20 April and 22 April 1948, and the men a few days later.[6]


  1. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii village #178. Also gives cause of depopulation
  2. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 189
  3. ^ "Welcome to Khirbat al-Sarkas". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  4. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Haifa, p. 34
  5. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 95
  6. ^ a b c Morris, 2004, p. 245


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