Village scene, before 1920
Arabic صرعة
Also Spelled Surah
District Jerusalem
Population 340 (1945[1])
Area 4,967 dunums
Date of depopulation July 18, 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Tarum[3]

Sar'a (Arabic: صرعة‎), was a Palestinian Arab village located 25 km west of Jerusalem.



The Canaanites referred to Sar'a by the name of Sur'a or Zorah, mentioned in the Amarna letters. It was known as part of the territory of the Tribe of Judah, on the boundary of the Tribe of Dan. Later, the Romans called it Sarea. Sar'a had two shrines, one of which is still standing. The first belongs to al-Nabi Samat, and the other for an unknown individual. The village also has several khirbas including Khirbat al-Tahuna, where the ruins of a building constructed of ashlars (squared stone masonry) and the foundations of other buildings.

During Ottoman rule in Palestine, in 1596, Saris was a village in the nahiya (subdistrict) of al-Ramla under the liwa' (district) of Gaza and it had a population of 94. The villagers paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, olives, goats and beehives.[4]

In 1881 it was described as a moderate sized village, standing on a low hill. A domed maqam, Neby Samat, stood to the south.[5]

By 1944/45 the village had a total of 2,979 dunums of land allocated to cereals; while 194 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[3][6]

1948, and afterward

Sar'a was captured by Israel's Harel Brigade between July 13–14, 1948 during the offensive Operation Dani in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Many of the inhabitants had already fled as the village had been on the front lines since April.[7] Those who had remained fled when the mortar barrages from the approaching Harel columns began; the few that stayed throughout the assault were later expelled.[7] The village's inhabitants fled the village towards various West Bank refugee camps, including Qalandiya.

The Israeli locality of Tarum was established on the north-eastern part of village land in 1950, while Tzora was established about 2 km southwest of the site, on land belonging to Dayr Aban.[3]

According to the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, the village remaining structures on the village land were in 1992:

Stone rubble and iron girders are strewn among the trees on the site. A flat stone, surrounded by debris and inscribed with Arabic verses from the Qur'an, bears the date A.H. 1355 (1936). On the western edge of the site stands a shrine containing the tombs of two local religious teachers. A valley to the northeast is covered with fig, almond, and cypress trees.[3]

See also

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


  1. ^ Hadawi, 1970, p. 58.
  2. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, village#332. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  3. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p. 314
  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. 314
  5. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, III:26. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.314
  6. ^ Hadawi, 1970, p.104
  7. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 436.


External links

Coordinates: 31°46′41.15″N 34°59′11.74″E / 31.7780972°N 34.9865944°E / 31.7780972; 34.9865944

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