From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Shahma is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic شحمة
Name meaning from personal name[1]
Also spelled Shameh
Subdistrict Ramle
Coordinates 31°49′25.92″N 34°48′39.62″E / 31.8238667°N 34.8110056°E / 31.8238667; 34.8110056Coordinates: 31°49′25.92″N 34°48′39.62″E / 31.8238667°N 34.8110056°E / 31.8238667; 34.8110056
Palestine grid 132/136
Population 280[2][3] (1945)
Area 6,875[2] dunams
6.9 km²
Date of depopulation May 14, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Influence of nearby town's fall

Shahma (Arabic: شحمة‎‎) was a Palestinian Arab village located 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) southwest of Ramla.[5] Depopulated on the eve of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the village lands today form part of a fenced in area used by the Israeli Air Force.[4][6]


The village was situated on the coastal plain, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) southwest of Ramla, in a flat area that was slightly higher that the terrain to the south and southeast. Wadi al-Sarar ran about 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) southwest of it, and a secondary road linked Shahma to al-Ramla. During World War II, the British built RAF Aqir military airport just north of the village, Shahma military base lay to the north and east.[5]


In 1852 van de Velde passed by Shammeh, and found two old ponds and "traces of high antiquity" there. He further noted that the village belonged to Sheikh Mosleh, of Bayt Jibrin.[7]

An Ottoman village list of about 1870 noted Schahme south east of Yibna, in the District of Ramle. It noted 23 houses and 31 persons, though the population count included only men.[8]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Shahma as a small village built of adobe bricks, whose inhabitants drew their water from a well to the south of the village.[9] On the SWP map drawn by Conder & Kitchener in 1878 the village located southeast of "Yebnah" is called "Shahmeh".[10]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Shameh had a population of 107 inhabitants, all Muslims,[11] increasing in the 1931 census to 150, still all Muslims, in a total of 34 houses.[12]

The village was classified as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer. It was divided into two sections, north and south of a secondary road. Some of its houses were built in part with stone remains from previous settlements.[5]

In 1944/45 the village had a population of 280, all Muslims[3] with a total of 6,875 dunums of land.[2] A total of 152 dunums of village land was used for citrus and bananas, 4,911 dunums were used for cereals, 33 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards,[5][13] while 11 dunams were classified as built-up public areas.[14]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the place in 1992: "The site has been incorporated into a fenced-in military airfield. It is marked by cactuses and bushes that are visible from the outside."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 273
  2. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 68
  3. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 30
  4. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #262. Also provides cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 414
  6. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 415
  7. ^ van de Velde, 1854, vol 2, p. 160
  8. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 160
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p.408 Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 414
  10. ^ Conder & Kitchener (1878). "SWP map 16". -. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramleh, p. 21
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 23.
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 117
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 167


External links[edit]