|Name meaning||from personal name|
|Date of depopulation||May 14, 1948|
|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. 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.
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.
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.
British Mandate era
In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Shameh had a population of 107, all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census to 150, still all Muslims, in a total of 34 houses.
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.
In 1944/45 the village had a population of 280, all Muslims with a total of 6,875 dunums of land. 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, while 11 dunams were classified as built-up public areas.
1948, and aftermath
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."
- Palmer, 1881, p. 273
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 68
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 30
- Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #262. Also provides cause of depopulation.
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 414
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 415
- van de Velde, 1854, vol 2, p. 160
- Socin, 1879, p. 160
- Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p.408 Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 414
- Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramleh, p. 21
- Mills, 1932, p. 23.
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 117
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 167
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922 (PDF). Government of Palestine.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, Herbert H. (1882). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 2. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas (PDF). Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Velde, van de, Charles William Meredith (1854). Narrative of a journey through Syria and Palestine in 1851 and 1852 2. William Blackwood and son.
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 2: 135–163.
- Welcome To Shahma
- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 16: IAA, Wikimedia commons
- Shama from Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center