Saqiya is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic ساقِية
District Jaffa
Coordinates 32°01′44.28″N 34°50′35.28″E / 32.0289667°N 34.8431333°E / 32.0289667; 34.8431333Coordinates: 32°01′44.28″N 34°50′35.28″E / 32.0289667°N 34.8431333°E / 32.0289667; 34.8431333
Population 1100[1] (1945)
Area 5,850[1] dunums
Date of depopulation 25 April 1948 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Or Yehuda

Saqiya (Arabic: ساقِية‎) was a village in Palestine (Jaffa district) 8.5 kilometers (5.3 mi) away from Jaffa, depopulated in 1948.



The village was located 8.5 kilometers (5.3 mi) east of Jaffa, 25 meters (82 ft) above sea level, on uneven land in the central coastal plain. A number of paved roads passing through or near the village allowed them to easy access to Ludd and Jaffa, Tel Aviv, as well as the villages adjacent to it.[3]


In 1596, under Ottoman rule, Saqiya was a village in the nahiya of Ramla (liwa´ of Gaza), with a population of 270. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, fruit and sesame, as well as on other types of property, such as goats, beehives and vineyards.[4]

The Syrian Sufi travelers al-Bakri al-Siddiqi, who toured the region in the mid-eighteenth century, wrote that he passed through Saqiya while he was on his way to Jaffa.[5]

In the late nineteenth century, the village had a well to the south.[6] The adobe brick-built homes were built close to each other. In the later years on the Mandate some cement buildings were built coupled with a slight expansion of the village. The inhabitants of the village were Muslim and had a mosque, established at the end of the Mandate.[7]

A primary school for boys was established in 1936. This school acquired 16 dunums of land for agricultural training, and it had 136 pupils enrolled by the mid-forties. The inhabitants of the village engaged mainly in agriculture; cultivating fruit, especially citrus, grains and vegetables. In 1944/1945, a total of 2422 dunums were used for growing citrus and banana; 2534 dunums were allotted to cereals with another 145 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[8]

1948 war, and aftermath

According to Israeli sources the village was attacked and occupied on 25 April 1948. But according to the Palestinians and a telegram sent to the Associated Press noted that it was a few days later on 27-28 April, along with the Khayriya and Kafr Ana villages. Whatever was the case, Saqiya was among the villages targeted in the process of Operation Hametz. The (History of Hagannah) mention that the occupation of Saqiya and the surrounding villages have been done (without fighting) without mentioning anything about the population number at that time.

However, the villagers tell a different story. This is Abu Mohamed from the village, describing what happened on 25 April 1948:

"Jews entered the village and started shooting women, men, and old people. They arrested girls, and we still don't know what happened to them. They came from the settlement that was near the village... They used Bren guns. Then armoured vehicles entered the centre of the village. Fourteen were killed that day... Two women could not run so they were killed in the village... The villagers ran together in the direction of al-Lid. After that families started to leave separately... We left everything in the village... We thought it would be a short trip and we would come back."[9]

Or Yehuda was established on the territory of the village in the year 1950 for the resettlement of Jews from Iraq and North Africa. Ramat Pinqas was established in the year 1952, on land belonging to the neighboring village of Khayriya.[7]

Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, described the village remains in 1992: "No more than ten houses remain. Some are inhabited by Jewish families, one is used as a workshop for car repair, and others are deserted. One of the occupied houses has a large front door and a garret with a slanted roof extending along the short side. A second house is quite long and has a large number of windows of various sizes. A third is a two-storey house whose second floor is fronted by a facade decoreted with wide lancet arches. In addition to the houses, there are truncated walls, the mud-brick foundation of a destroyed building, and other debris on the site. There are also cactuses and sycamore, cypress, Christs-thorn, and palm trees. Part of the surrounding land is cultivated; the rest is covered by settlement buildings."[7]

See also

  • List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War


  1. ^ a b Hadawi, 1970 p.53 Also in Khalidi, 1992, p. 257
  2. ^ Morris, 2004, p.xviii, village #214 Also gives cause of depopulation.
  3. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 257
  4. ^ Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter and Kamal Abdulfattah (1977), Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. p. 154. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 257.
  5. ^ Stated in Khalidi 1968: 145. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p.257-258.
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener: SWP II, 1881, p.254, Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 258
  7. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 258
  8. ^ Hadawi, 1970, p.96, Khalidi, 1992, p. 258
  9. ^ Robert Fisk: Arabs have to rely on Britain and Israel for their history, Saturday, 1 November 2008, The Independent.


External links

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