PLace

al-Mirr

Place
al-Mirr — المِرّ
Known also as: al-Mahmudiyya
District
Lydda
Average Elevation
25 m
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Distance from Jaffa
16.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 170 170
1931 101 101
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 41 10 51
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 6 10 16
Built-up 2 2
8 10 18 (35%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Total
Cereal 31 31
Citrus and Bananas 2 2
33 33 (65%)
Number of Houses (1931)
25

The village was situated on flat terrain in the central coastal plain area, on the southern bank of the al-'Awja River. It was linked by a short, secondary railway track to the railway line that ran between Ra's al-'Ayn and the Jewish settlement of Petach Tiqwa (in the west). A number of secondary roads connected it to neighboring villages, such as Ra's al-'Ayn (the site of the town of Antipatris in Roman times). Al-Mirr was founded during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Mahmud II (1808–39) and so was also known as al-Mahmudiyya. In the late nineteenth century, al-Mirr was a village built of adobe bricks and featured a mill that stood next to the nearby river.

The village was classified in the Mandate era as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer. The entire population was Muslim. Most villagers worked in agriculture, although some earned their living in the transportation sector. They cultivated mainly citrus and olives on the village lands which lay west and east of the village proper. In 1944/45 a total of 2 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 31 dunums were planted in cereals. The remains of a Turkish bridge are visible on the edge of the village site.

Israeli military intelligence reports stated that villagers left al-Mirr on 3 February 1948, out of 'general fear.' Located northeast of Petach Tiqwa and in the midst of a number of other Jewish settlements, the village was perceived as a likely target for attack early in the course of the war. In late 1947 and early 1948, Arab villages between Tel Aviv and Chadera were attacked by both the Haganah and Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL). However, the New York Times quoted a British Army statement in mid-May that said that Jewish forces attacked al-Mirr (incorrectly referring to it by the name Antipatris) at that time. The 13 May attack would have occurred around the same time as a foray into the Triangle area (see Glossary) by two IZL columns.

There are no settlements on village lands. The settlement of Newe Yaraq (143171), established in 1951, is about 2 km northeast of the village site, on land that belonged to the village of Jaljuliya (a Palestinian village that still exists).

All that remains of the village are a few large, deserted houses, surrounded by tall, thorny plants and some unused village wells and roads. One of the houses is a two-storey concrete structure with a flat roof and rectangular windows and doors. Another house, also a two-storey, concrete building, is quite large and architecturally elaborate. Three round-arched doors define the front facade of the first floor, and the central door opens into a raised hallway that bisects the first storey and is surmounted, in the front, by a gable roof. The second storey, which is smaller than the first and is set back, away from the front of the house, has a facade containing three arched windows. The roof over the second storey is decorated with a serrated cornice. A dilapidated, stone-lined well, also remains, its ladder still inside. Railroad tracks run through the site and a number of palm trees are scattered across it. The land around the site is planted by Israeli farmers with fruit orchards.