|Founded by||Kurdish Jews|
The village lies next to the road between Bayt Jibrin and the Jerusalem-Jaffa highway, and has a mean elevation of 268 meters above sea level. It is bordered on its south-east by the Elah Valley, and is situated about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south-west of Beit Shemesh. The mountain of Azekah can be seen directly to the south of the village. The villagers obtained their drinking water from two communal wells:- al-Saflani well which was drilled next to Wadi 'Ajjur, and al-Sarara well located north of the village.
The nearby town of Beth Zacharia is said to have existed in Roman times. According to legend, the body of the prophet Zachariah was found here in 415 CE and a church and monastery were established.
State of Israel
In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Az-Zakariyya was the longest lasting Palestinian Arab community in the southern Jerusalem Corridor. The villagers were evicted by the Israelis in three different phases, last eviction was carried out on June 9, 1950, on the orders of David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett and Yosef Weitz, and most ended up on the West Bank.
In 1992, Walid Khalidi described the remaining structures: "The mosque and a number of houses, some occupied by Jewish residents and others deserted, remain on the site. Large sections of the site itself are covered with wild vegetation. The mosque is in a state of neglect and an Israeli flag is planted on top of the minaret. [..] One of the occupied houses is a two-storey stone structure with a flat roof. Its second story windows have round arches and grillwork. Parts of the surrounding lands are cultivated by Israeli farmers."
Landmarks and culture
The tomb of Zecharia, which has been attributed to both the Hebrew prophet Zecharia and Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, is located on the moshav. The site is mentioned in sources as early as the fourth century, in the writings of Sozomenos, and it appears on the Madaba map. In the 1970s, there was a resurgence of Jewish interest in the site, which became a pilgrimage destination for Jews from Iraq, Iran, Cochin, India and elsewhere, who prayed there and lit candles.
- "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Khalidi, 1992, pp. 224–225
- Josephus, Antiquities (Book xii, chapter ix, verse 4)
- Petersen, 2001, p. 320
- Morris, 2004, p. 521
- Mordechai Bar-On, officer in charge of the eviction. Quoted in Morris, 2004, p. 521
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 226
- Arnon Shai (2006). "The Fate of Abandoned Arab Villages in Israel, 1965-1969". History and Memory. 18 (2): 86–106.
- Sacred Space in Israel and Palestine: Religion and Politics, ed. Marshall J. Breger, Yitzhak Reiter and Leonard Hammer
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 206
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Petersen, Andrew (2001). A Gazetteer of Buildings in Muslim Palestine (British Academy Monographs in Archaeology). 1. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-727011-0.