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Zikrin is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic ذكرين
Name meaning Dhikerin the cool[1]
Also spelled Dhikerin[2]
Subdistrict Hebron
Coordinates 31°39′48.30″N 34°51′38.25″E / 31.6634167°N 34.8606250°E / 31.6634167; 34.8606250Coordinates: 31°39′48.30″N 34°51′38.25″E / 31.6634167°N 34.8606250°E / 31.6634167; 34.8606250
Palestine grid 136/119
Population 960[3][4] (1945)
Area 17,195[3] dunams
Date of depopulation 22–23 October 1948[5]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces

Zikrin (Arabic: ذكرين‎‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Hebron Subdistrict, depopulated in the 1948 Palestine War.


The village was called Kefar Dikrina in Roman times.[6]

In 1479, it was mentioned by Tucher of Nurnberg, who travelled from Bethlehem to Gaza and lodged at Zikrin. He noted cisterns here.[7]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1596, Zikrin was part of the Ottoman Empire, nahiya (subdistrict) of Gaza under the liwa' (district) of Gaza with a population of 220. It paid taxes on a number of products, including wheat, barley, sesame and fruits, and on vineyards.[8]

In 1838, Edward Robinson described it as a "large" village.[7]

In 1863 Victor Guérin visited, and found here a village with about 600 inhabitants. On the west side of the village there were as many as 40 cisterns. Guérin toured the village with the village Sheikh, who he described as a "tall, young and intelligent" man, whose father was Sheikh in Bayt Jibrin, and whose uncles were the same in Tell es-Safi and 'Ajjur.[9] An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that Zikrin had 38 houses and a population of 101, though the population count included men only.[10]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Zikrin as being built of stone, and surrounded by gardens. It had "numerous" water wells below it.[2][6]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Zekrin had a population of 693, all Muslims,[11] increasing in the 1931 census to 726, still all Muslim, in a total of 181 houses.[12]

The modern village had an elementary school, and a number of small shops. The villagers, who were Muslim, worked in agriculture and animal husbandry.[6]

In 1945, it had a population of 960, all Muslims,[4] and a total land area of 17,195 dunams.[3] In 1944/45 15,058 dunams (15.058 km2; 5.814 sq mi) of village land was planted with cereals,[6][13] while 63 dunams were built-up (urban) areas.[14]

Trees, shrubs, and wild grass grew on the south and southeast sides and serves as pastures.[6]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

On 6 August 1948, in the middle of an official truce, two squads from the 53rd Battalion of the Givati Brigade raided Zikrin, lobbing grenades and torching three or four houses. About 10 adult males, two children and one woman were killed in the village, according to IDF sources. The last three were killed accidentally, according to the report, while IDF suffered one soldier "slightly injured."[15]

Zikrin was finally depopulated on 22–23 October 1948 during the third stage of Operation Yoav under the command of Yigal Allon.[6] According to Morris, most of the villagers fled before the troops arrived, those who remained were expelled eastwards.[16] According to Morris, Yigal Allon was so successful in completely driving out the local population during Operation Yo'av, that the villagers found it almost impossible to "reinfiltrate" to their old villages, as there was no longer any local Arab population to help them resettle. During a military "sweep" of the villages in early 1949, they found most villages empty. In Zikrin it is reported that the troops found "two Arabs" who "managed to escape."[17]

Presently, there are no settlements on village land. The kibbutz, Beit Nir, is about 3 km south of the village site.[6]

The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the village site in 1992 as being overgrown with tall weeds, scrub, and other wild vegetation, containing a number of olive and carob trees. Truncated stone terraces, partially overgrown with cactuses, further marked the site. Some of the surrounding lands was cultivated by Israeli farmers for wheat, and the rest used as rangeland.[6]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 367
  2. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 258.
  3. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 51
  4. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 23
  5. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #297. Also gives cause of depopulation
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Khalidi, 1992, p. 228
  7. ^ a b Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, pp. 362-363
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 147. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 228
  9. ^ Guérin, 1869, pp. 107 -108
  10. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 163
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Hebron, p. 10
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 34
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 94
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 144
  15. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 447, note 213
  16. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 466
  17. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 518-9


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