Wadi al-Hawarith

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Wadi al-Hawarith
Arabic وادي الحوارث
Subdistrict Tulkarm
Palestine grid 139/201 (North) 139/200 (South)
Population 1,330[1] (1945)
Area 7,106 dunams
Date of depopulation March 15, 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Secondary cause Fear of being caught up in the fighting
Current localities Kfar Haroeh, Kfar Vitkin and Geulei Teiman

Wadi al-Hawarith (Arabic: وادي الحوارث‎‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Tulkarm Subdistrict. It was depopulated at the outbreak of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War on March 15, 1948 following the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine.[2] It was located 16.5 km northwest of Tulkarm. Wadi al-Hawarith was mostly destroyed with the exception of four houses.

In 1945, the village had a total population of 1,330.


British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Wadi al-Hawarith had 812 villagers; 810 Muslims and 2 Christians,[3] where the Christians were one Roman Catholic and one Maronite.[4] The population had increased in the 1931 census to 1,112; 1,077 Muslims, 30 Jews and 5 Christians, in a total of 255 houses.[5]

In 1945, Wadi al-Hawarith (North) had 850 inhabitants, while Wadi al-Hawarith (South) had 480; 1,330 in total, all Muslims,[1] and the total land area was 9,812 dunams.[6] Arabs used 960 dunams for cereals,[7] while they owned 1,555 dunams of uncultivable land.[8]

1948 war[edit]

The Arab Liberation Army instructed in mid-February 1948 the inhabitants of Wadi al-Hawarith to evacuate their women and property to the Arab area, which it is unclear if they did. After an ambush by Haganah the month after, which killed three or four Arabs, the inhabitants began to leave but stressing "that the Jews all along had promised them that nothing bad would happen to them" if they stayed. The British mandate authorities advised them to leave and helped with a military escort. The evacuation apparently took several weeks.[9]

In early May, advisers of the Alexandroni Brigade recommended destroying the homes in Wadi al-Hawarith, except those of stone "that may be made fit for human [i.e., Jewish] habitation".[9]

The Canadian Jewish Chronicle reported from Jerusalem on March 29, published on April 2, saying that the sudden mass exodus of Arab villagers "heightened the belief here that Arab gangs are preparing for an all-out assault on Tel Aviv and Jewish coastal areas in the immediate future." According to this article, the evacuees had always had friendly relations with the settlers. The evacuation apparently was coordinated between the Jews and Sheik Abu Kishek, head of a prominent tribe in the Tel Aviv area, and states that Sheik Kishek had spent the previous month at Mufti headquarters, and "reportedly got instructions to evacuate the area."


  1. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 22
  2. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #182. Also gives causes of depopulation
  3. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p. 28
  4. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XV, p. 48
  5. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 55
  6. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 77
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 128
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 178
  9. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 129
  10. ^ Canadian Jewish Chronicle, March 29, 1948 Arab Villagers in Mass Exodus from Coastal Plain, Jews, Stand Guard over Abandoned Crops


External links[edit]