Ras Abu 'Ammar

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Ras Abu 'Ammar
Ras Abu 'Ammar 1948 ii.jpg
Ras Abu 'Ammar 1948
Ras Abu 'Ammar is located in Mandatory Palestine
Ras Abu 'Ammar
Ras Abu 'Ammar
Arabic رأس أبو عمار
Name meaning The hill top of Abu Ammar[1]
Subdistrict Jerusalem
Coordinates 31°44′17″N 35°05′25″E / 31.73806°N 35.09028°E / 31.73806; 35.09028Coordinates: 31°44′17″N 35°05′25″E / 31.73806°N 35.09028°E / 31.73806; 35.09028
Palestine grid 158/127
Population 620[2][3] (1945)
Area 8,342 dunams
Date of depopulation October 21, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Tzur Hadassah[5]

Ras Abu 'Ammar (Arabic: رأس أبو عمار‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Jerusalem Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on October 21, 1948 by the Har'el Brigade of Operation ha-Har. It was located 14 km west of Jerusalem, surrounded on three sides by the Wadi al-Sarar.


The nearby Kh. Kafr Sum have remains from the Crusader era, including a court-yard building and rock-cut cisterns. A tower to the south east was later turned into Maqam ash-sheikh Musafar.[6] Victor Guérin noted that: "There are a lot of rickety houses, which are built of small, almost unhewn stones, near one waly, which stands in the shade of a mulberry tree of several hundreds years old. Not far from it there is a semicircle swimming pool, built in a crude way". And further: "A large structure, partly built of ancient stones with typical projection, served as a mosque, as we can tell from the presence of the mihrab in it. It is very likely that the structure had stood before the Muslims settled here, and they just adopted it for their cult".[7]

The SWP described it as "a small stone village on a hill; to the east in a small valley is a good spring, with a rock-cut tomb beside it."[8]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1863 Victor Guérin was pointed out on a mountain the small village of Ras Abu 'Ammar, which high position had given its name.[9]

An Ottoman village list from around 1870 showed that Ras Abu Ammar had 6 (?) houses and a population of 92, though the population count included men, only.[10][11]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Ras (Abu 'Ammar) as "a large stone village on a spur, with a fine spring in the valley to the north-west. The hill has only a little scrub on it, but the valley, which is open and rather flat, has olives in it."[12]

In 1896 the population of Ras Abu 'Ammar was estimated to be about 279 persons.[13]

British Mandate era[edit]

Amr Abu 'Ammar 1948

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Ras Abu Ammar had a population 339, all Muslims,[14] increasing in the 1931 census when it was counted with Aqqur and Ein Hubin, to 488, in 106 houses.[15]

In 1945, the village, with a population of 620 Muslims,[2] had 8,342 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[3] Of the land, 925 dunams were plantations and irrigable land 2,791 were for cereals,[16] while 40 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[17]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

On 4 August, 1948, two weeks into the Second truce of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Hajj Amin al Husseini noted that ‘for two weeks now . . . the Jews have continued with their attacks on the Arab villages and outposts in all areas. Stormy battles are continuing in the villages of Sataf, Deiraban, Beit Jimal, Ras Abu ‘Amr, ‘Aqqur, and ‘Artuf . . .’[18]

The village was depopulated on October 21, 1948.[4] The area was later incorporated into the State of Israel and the village of Tzur Hadassah was established on Ras Abu 'Ammar land in 1960.[5]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, pp. 324, 268
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 25
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 58
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #347. Also gives cause of depopulation
  5. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 312
  6. ^ Pringle, 1997, p. 58
  7. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 383
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 25
  9. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 6
  10. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 159
  11. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 145, noted 330(!) houses
  12. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 26
  13. ^ Schick, 1896, p. 122
  14. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 15
  15. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 42
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 104
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 154
  18. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 447, note #211, p. 461


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