Bayt 'Itab


Bayt 'Itab

Bayt 'Itab ( _ar. بيت عطاب) was a Palestinian village depopulated after its capture by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

It was once a thriving village inhabited by 662 residents from the Lahham family (a clan that at one point in the 19th century controlled as many as 24 neighbouring villages in the Jerusalem area) but it was completely demolished after its assault by Israeli forces on 21 October 1948.cite web|title=Welcome to Bayt 'Itab|publisher=Palestine Remembered|accessdate=2007-12-04|url=http://www.palestineremembered.com/Jerusalem/Bayt-'Itab/index.html]

Of the history of Bayt 'Itab, Meron Benvenisti writes:

"Arab settlement that predates and outlasted the Crusader conquest have not been considered worthy of study or mention except in the context of "the Crusader period," an ascription that itself is often as not fabricated. In the Jerusalem Hills lie remains of the village of Beit `Atab, formerly the capital of the Arqub district and seat of its ruler, Sheik ´Othman al-Lahaam. This sheik conducted a bloody war against Sheik Mustafa Abu Ghosh, whose capital and fortified seat was in the village of Suba. The long history of Beit ´Atab and the tale of the wars of the Quays and Yaman have been recounted at length in many books, and British consul James Finn (mid-nineteenth century) left a particularly vivid description of this village and its houses, both ancient and new. But there is no mention of any of this in Israeli guidebooks, save for the routine remark, "destroyed in the War for Independence." By contrast, the guidebook makes sure to inform its readers that "it is almost certain that its Arab name, Beit ´Atab, is a corruption of its Latin name, Atap, meaning a small fortress," and at the site there are "remains of ancient structures, apparently from a Crusader farm." The whole Crusader connection is a fabrication, since the sole historical mention of this settlement is a single reference to it in 1161 as a small village whose inhabitants are local people (i.e., not Crusaders). Nowhere is there any mention of its being a Crusader "fortress or farm," although its name appears (in a fractured Latin transliteration of its Arabic name) on a list of holdings -populated by Arabs- of a knight of Flemish origin. The mention of a place-name on a deed of ownership is sufficient data for its inclusion in the historical account, from the point of view of the conquerors, whereas the lives of generations of ordinary people who lived in Beit ´Atab are of no importance and their material culture is dismissed as "primitive". In a chapter named "The Convenience of the Crusades", in the book "Sacred Landscape", 2002, (p. 301) [Benvenisti, Meron (2002): "Sacred Landscape: Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948". University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23422-7]

ee also

*List of villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war

References

External links

* [http://www.alnakba.org/villages/jerusalem/itab.htm Al Nakba - Itab]
* [http://www.palestine-family.net/index.php?nav=4-218&cid=526&did=776&pageflip=3 Palestine Family]


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