PLace

al-Mas'udiyya

Place
al-Mas'udiyya — المَسْعُودِيَّة
Known also as: Summayl
District
Lydda
Average Elevation
25 m
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Distance from Jaffa
5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 850
1931 658
Number of Houses (1931)
127

The village was situated on sandy, flat terrain on the central coastal plain, 1.5 km east of the seashore and 1.5 km south of the al-'Awja River. It was originally known by its alternative name, Summayl, but acquired the name of al-Mas'udiyya in the early twentieth century. In the 1870s it was described as an ordinary mud village with a large well and a cave. The village houses were bunched closely together in a line that ran from north to south. The population was predominantly Muslim; only twenty Christians lived there in 1945. An elementary school, established in the village in 1931, had an enrollment of thirty-one students by the mid1940s. Al-Mas'udiyya also had a mosque, built atop the remnants of an earlier structure, perhaps a church. The people worked primarily in citrus cultivation and animal husbandry. A small number were engaged in commerce, handicrafts, and the service sector. In 1938 the villagers cultivated citrus trees on 275 dunums. The pressure of an expanding Tel Aviv led many of the villagers to leave al-Mas'udiyya by 1946.

The History of the Haganah reports that al-Mas'udiyya agreed to a truce with the Haganah after a meeting in Petach Tiqwa towards the end of 1947. Nevertheless, it was one of the first villages to be evacuated, on 25 December 1947. Israeli historian Benny Morris states that the evacuation took place because the villagers feared a Jewish attack due to its precarious location; the village was only a few hundred yards from the outskirts of Tel Aviv, and attacks on Arab villages were increasing at the time. Morris states that the villagers fled first to neighboring al-Jammasin, where morale was lowered by the arrival of the refugees, and that al-Jammasin itself was completely emptied by mid-March 1948. The area was the scene of numerous Haganah and Irgun operations in the winter and early spring.

There are no settlements on village lands, but the expansion of Tel Aviv has encroached on them.

The area is part of Tel Aviv. All that remains of the village is one deserted house that belonged to Muhammad Baydas. Cactuses, castor-oil (ricinus) plants, and palm and cypress trees further mark the site. Nearby is the al-Mas'udiyya (or Summayl) bridge—an arched, steel structure.