The village was situated on a sandy spot, surrounded by hills, on the southern coastal plain. Several wadis descended around it and periodically subjected it to flooding. This perhaps explains its name, which means 'water collector' in Arabic, as well as its circular layout. The village has been identified with a town referred to in Crusader records as Algie. The coastal highway and railway line ran close to the village on its western side. The inhabitants reported that their village had been ruined at one point and then rebuilt by Muhammad Abu Nabbut, the governor of Jaffa and Gaza between 1807 and 1818.
Al-Jiyya's population was Muslim and the village had its own mosque. Children attended school in the neighboring village of Barbara. The villagers installed a pump on one of the wells in the area to draw water for domestic use. The community worked primarily in agriculture, planting various types of grain, especially corn. In 1944/45 a total of 189 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 8,004 dunums were allocated to cereals; 26 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Al-Jiyya also was known for its cheese and other dairy products which were sold in Gaza and the city of al-Majdal. Among the archaeological remains found in al-Jiyya were a stone column and the remains of a Roman mill.
Al-Jiyya fell into Israeli hands at the same time as the city of al-Majdal, on 4–5 November 1948. This occurred at the end of Operation Yoav , one of the last major offensives of the war. Like most of the population of the area, the villagers of al-Jiyya probably fled or were expelled to the already over-populated Gaza Strip.
Moshav Ge'a and Beyt Shiqma were established on village lands in 1949 and 1950, respectively.
All traces of the village have been completely obliterated. Some sycamore trees grow on the site. Cantaloupes have been planted by the settlement of Beyt Shiqma on the surrounding lands.