PLace

al-Muzayri'a

Place
al-Muzayri'a — المُزَيْرِعَة
District
Lydda
Average Elevation
110 m
Subdistrict
Ramla
Distance from Al Ramla
15 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 1160 1160
1931 780
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 9042 1450 330 10822
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 2134 330 2464
Built-up 25 25
2159 330 2489 (23%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 5895 1057 6952
Plantation and Irrigable 35 10 45
Citrus and Bananas 953 383 1336
6883 1450 8333 (77%)
Number of Houses (1931)
186

The village stood on a limestone hill at the end of the Ramallah heights overlooking the coastal plain. A wadi ran along its southern perimeter and separated it from the village of QuIa. AI-Muzayri'a was on the eastern side of the highway that ran from al-Ramla to Tel Aviv and Jaffa via Majdal Yaba. It was also about 1 km east of the al-RamIa-Haifa railway line. In 1596 al-Muzayri'a was a village in the nahiya of Jabal Qubal (liwa' of Nablus) with a population of thirty-nine. The village paid taxes on a number of crops including wheat, barley, and olives. It also paid taxes on goats and beehives. It seems that al-Muzayri'a was abandoned during the seventeenth century only to be reoccupied in the eighteenth century by the al-Rumayh family, originally from Deir Ghassaneh (now a village on the West Bank). A. Mansell, a journalist and traveler, mentioned passing al-Muzayri'a in the 1860s.

AI-Muzayri'a took on a star-like shape as its houses, mostly made of adobe, were built along the network of roads that connected it to other localities. Its population was predominantly Muslim, and a mosque was built at its center. A boys' school, founded in 1919, became a full-fledged elementary school in 1945. The school, which was attended by children from neighboring villages, had an enrollment of 207 students in the mid-1940s. A plot of 35 dunums was attached to the school. A school for girls was opened in 1945 and had an initial enrollment of 78 students. A Roman mausoleum near the village, still standing, was long ago converted into a mosque dedicated to a prophet, al-Nabi Yahya ('the Prophet John').

Early in this century, some of the residents engaged in the making of cloaks and horse saddles, but these crafts gradually died out. Agriculture remained the principal economic activity of the population, the main crops being rainfed grain and irrigated fruit from trees. In 1944/45 a total of 953 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 5,895 dunums were allotted to cereals; 35 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. In addition to the Roman mausoleum/mosque, there were a number of khirbas near the village. About 1 km northeast was Khirbat Zikhrin (146163), a Roman-Byzantine site that was inhabited during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. Excavations there have been continuing since 1982.

It is almost certain that al-Muzayri'a was occupied during Operation Dani (see Abu al-Fadl, al-Ramla District). Egyptian writer Muhmammad 'Abd al-Mun'im states that it was captured at a time when the operation was in progress, on 12 July, as Israeli forces launched a three-pronged attack on the town of al-Ramla. According to that account, the unit that attacked al-Ramla from the north occupied al-Muzayri'a and nearby QuIa before it reached al-Ramla. The History of the War of Independence states that a cluster of villages south of al-Muzayri'a (made up of QuIa, Rantiyya, and Wilhelma) was captured two days earlier, on 10 July.

The settlement of Nechalim (141163) was founded in 1949 on the northwestern part of the village land. The settlement of Mazor (143162) was established in 1949 on the western side of the village lands.

The site is largely forested. While a few houses remain, most have been reduced to rubble. Cactuses and stone terraces are visible on the site.