Dimra is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic دمره
Also Spelled Dimrah,[1] Beit Dimreh[2] Demreh[3]
District Gaza
Coordinates 31°33′32.26″N 34°33′53.90″E / 31.5589611°N 34.564972°E / 31.5589611; 34.564972Coordinates: 31°33′32.26″N 34°33′53.90″E / 31.5589611°N 34.564972°E / 31.5589611; 34.564972
Population 324 (1931)
Area 8,492 dunums

8.5 km²

Date of depopulation early November 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Fear of being caught up in the fighting
Current localities Erez

Dimra (Arabic: دمره‎) was a small Palestinian Arab village located 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) northeast of Gaza City.[2][5] Ancient remains at the site attest to longtime settlement there. During the era of Mamluk rule in Palestine, the town was the home of the Bani Jabir tribe. Depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the Israeli kibbutz of Erez was founded in 1949 on part of the former village's lands.



Ancient remains found throughout the village, including marble and granite columns as well as pottery, attest to longtime settlement at the site.[2] Following the conquest of the Crusader states during the period of Mamluk rule (1270-1516 AD) over Greater Syria (Levant), Dimra was located on an eastward route which left the main Gaza-Jaffa highway at Beit Hanoun.[2] According to Moshe Sharon, Dimra is not mentioned in Arabic sources from the time, though he speculates that its natural, independent water supply made it a likely resting place for those travelling in the region.[2] According to Walid Khalidi, Al-Qalqasandi, an Arab scholar (d. 1418 AD), wrote of Dimra, noting it was the home of the Bani Jabir, an Arab tribe.[6]

During the period of Ottoman rule in Palestine, Edward Robinson passed by "Dimreh" in 1838, describing it as near the bend of a valley.[7] The village expanded during the British mandate period, and houses were built eastward and southward. In 1944-45 a total of 96 dunums of land in the village were allocated to citrus and banana cultivation, 7,412 dunums to cereals, and 388 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[8] An elementary school opened in Dimra in 1946, with an initial enrollment of 47 students.[8]

1948 War and aftermath

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the women and children of Dimra were reportedly evacuated by the village men on 31 October, likely in response to the advance of the Israeli army.[9]

The Israeli settlement of Erez was founded in 1949 on part of the village site.[8] The remaining structures of the village are described by Khalidi in All That Remains (1992):

"Most of the village is fenced in and used as pasture. A crumbling stone water basin, concrete rubble from houses, and a destroyed well are nearly all that remain. A watering trough for cows has been placed on what appears to be a concrete fragment from a former house. The well is topped with an old, nonoperating water pump. More debris lies in a wooded portion of the site, near a Jewish cemetery. Some cactuses that formerly served as fences, as well as shrubs and thorny plants, grow on adjacent lands.[8]

See also

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


  1. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, p. 118.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sharon, 2004, p.138.
  3. ^ Thomson, 1860, p. 356.
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p.xix, village #314. Also gives cause of depopulation
  5. ^ "Dimra". Palestine Remembered. http://www.palestineremembered.com/Gaza/Dimra/index.html. Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  6. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 94. Quoting Ahmad al-Qalqashandi's Al-Nujum, cited in D1/2:272.
  7. ^ Robinson, 1842, vol. II, p. 371. Also cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 94.
  8. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 94.
  9. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 76.


External links

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