PLace

al-Mazar

Place
al-Mazar — المَزار
District
Haifa
Average Elevation
65 m
Subdistrict
Haifa
Distance from Haifa
15.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 210
1931 * 2160
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 4432 856 2688 7976
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 165 2688 2853
Built-up 39
204 2688 2892 (36%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 3750 743 4493
Plantation and Irrigable 473 113 586
Citrus and Bananas 5 5
4228 856 5084 (64%)
Number of Houses (1931)
442
*

The village stood on the lower western slopes of Mount Carmel, overlooked the narrow coastal plain and the Mediterranean Sea. Close to one-third of the village's land was on Mount Carmel, with the rest on the coastal plain. The coastal highway passed by its western edge, and the Crusader castle at 'Atlit lay only 2.5 km north of the village. The village name, which is Arabic for "shrine" or "a place that one visits," was probably meant to commemorate the many people who were killed and buried there in the war against the Crusaders. The village layout resembled a square. The villagers, who were Muslim, obtained their domestic water from a spring that lay to the southeast.

Al-Mazar's economy was based on agriculture and animal husbandry; grain was the main crop, but vegetables and fruit trees also were grown. In 1944/45 a total of 5 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 3,750 dunums were allotted to cereals; 473 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, 100 dunums of which was planted with olive trees. The site contained archaeological artifacts such as pottery fragments, rock-hewn tombs, and cut stones.

Like al-Tira and 'Ayn Hawd, al-Mazar was probably one of a few villages due south of Haifa which eluded capture for around six weeks after the fall of the city in late April 1948. Israeli historian Benny Morris argues that it was occupied in mid-July along with other villages in the immediate vicinity. This occurred in the course of a joint ground and naval operation launched during the Ten Days between the two truces of the war. The villagers may have been expelled, like those of al-Tira. However, that operation failed to occupy all the villages in this area; the Little Triangle of villages (Ijzim, Jaba', and 'Ayn Ghazal) just south of al-Mazar held out for a few more days before succumbing to a massive Israeli assault carried out in violation of the second truce. Hence al-Mazar may also have withstood Israeli attacks until late July.

The settlement of 'En Karmel (146231) was established 1 km west of the village in 1947. Some of its buildings are now on village land.

Rubble of stone houses is scattered over the site, which is overgrown with weeds, thorns, cactuses, and fig, pomegranate, and mulberry trees. The site is also marked by segments of standing stone walls and the debris of the mosque, which stood until 1983.