Sarafand al-Kharab

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sarafand al-Kharab
Sarafand al-Kharab is located in Mandatory Palestine
Sarafand al-Kharab
Sarafand al-Kharab
Arabic صرفند الخراب
Name meaning Kh Surafend; the ruin of Surafend.[1]
Subdistrict Ramle
Coordinates 31°56′10.75″N 34°48′20.3″E / 31.9363194°N 34.805639°E / 31.9363194; 34.805639Coordinates: 31°56′10.75″N 34°48′20.3″E / 31.9363194°N 34.805639°E / 31.9363194; 34.805639
Palestine grid 131/149
Population 1,040[2][3] (1945)
Area 5,503 (3,545 Arab-owned, 1,611 Jewish-owned, 347 public lands)[4] dunams
5.5 km²
Date of depopulation April 20, 1948[5]
Cause(s) of depopulation Fear of being caught up in the fighting
Current localities Ness Ziona[6]

Sarafand al-Kharab (Arabic: صرفند الخراب‎‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Ramle Subdistrict, located 50 meters (160 ft) above sea level, 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) west of Ramla, in the area that is today northeast of Ness Ziona.[7]


Pottery remains from the early Islamic period (8-10 century, Umayyad/Abbasid era) have found here.[8]

An Arabic inscription on a slab of marble, formerly held in the private collection of Baron d'Ustinow, was found in Sarafand al-Kharab. Dating to the Fatimid period (1048-1048) and thought to have been brought to the village from Ashkelon, it states: "The slave of amir al-mu'minin may Allah bless him and his pure ancestors, and his noble descendants. And he was then in charge of ... in the border stronghold of Ashqelon in the month of (?) of Rabi' II of the year 440."[9]

A vault, dating from the Crusader era have been found in the village.[10][11]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1838, Edward Robinson reported that there were two villages by the name of Sarafand in the area, one of which was inhabited by Muslims and the other ruined. Thus, it may be that Sarafand al-Kharab ("Sarafand of the ruins") acquired its name during this period.[12] Both the Sarafand villages belonged to the District of Ibn Humar.[13]

An Ottoman village list of about 1870 counted 22 houses and a population of 107 in Sarfend el Charab, though the population count included men only.[14]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) noted the village on their maps as Khurbet Surafend, and described the archeological remains at the place as being "a tank or birkeh of rubble in cement, resembling those at Ramleh, here exists, with traces of other ruins."[15]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Sarafand al-Kharab had a population of 385 inhabitants, all Muslims,[16] increasing in the 1931 census to 974; 938 Muslims, 33 Christians and 3 Jews, in a total of 206 residential houses.[17]

Sarafand al-Kharab was one of a number of villages in the Lydda-Ramle district of Mandatory Palestine whose equine population was struck by an epidemic of African horse sickness in 1944, resulting in "stand-still" orders preventing the movement of horses outside of town between September and November 1944 and the deaths of 730 horses in the district.[18]

In 1945, the village had a population of 1,040; 930 Muslims and 110 Christians,[2] with a total of 5,503 dunams of land. (3,545 Arab-owned, 1,611 Jewish-owned, 347 public lands)[4] In 1944-45, a total of 4,235 dunams were devoted to citrus and bananas and 499 dunams were allocated to cereals; 64 dunams were irrigated or used for orchards,[19] while 33 dunams were classified as built-up, urban areas.[20]

1948, aftermath[edit]

By 8 April, Haganah reports mentioned that Palestinian women and children had started evacuating the village.[21] News of the Deir Yassin massacre might have prompted further evacuation.[6]

By September 1948, Sarafand al-Kharab was one village Israeli general Avner considered "suitable" for filling with newly Jewish immigrants, so called olim.[22]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 215
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 30
  3. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 68
  4. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 117
  5. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #234. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  6. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 413
  7. ^ "Sarafand al-Kharab". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  8. ^ Golan, 2015, Nes Ziyyona, Sarafand el-Kharab
  9. ^ Sharon, 1997, pp. 151 -152.
  10. ^ Pringle, 1997, p. 93
  11. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 412
  12. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol. 3. p. 45, cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 413.
  13. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol. 3. Second appendix, p. 121
  14. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 160
  15. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 266
  16. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramleh, p. 21
  17. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 23.
  18. ^ El-Eini, 2004, p. 399
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p.117
  20. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 167
  21. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 175, note 58
  22. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 394, note 328


External links[edit]