PLace

al-Sawalima

Place
al-Sawalima — السَوالِمَة
District
Lydda
Average Elevation
50 m
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Distance from Jaffa
11 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 800 800
1931 429 429
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 5844 98 5942
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 193 98 291
193 98 291 (5%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Total
Cereal 4566 4566
Plantation and Irrigable 191 191
Citrus and Bananas 894 894
5651 5651 (95%)

The village was situated on relatively flat terrain that sloped from north to south. Its lands were bounded by the northern bank of the al-'Awja River, some 2 km south of the village site. Al-Sawalima was founded by the nomadic 'Arab al-Sawalima, whose presence in Palestine predated Ottoman rule. They originally occupied the site only seasonally, during a phase in their annual migration cycle, but gradually began to settle permanently there in adobe houses. The residents, who were Muslim, opened an elementary school in the village in 1946, with an initial enrollment of thirty-one students. They cultivated citrus in the western and, especially, southern portions where a good number of wells provided irrigation water. In 1944/45 a total of 894 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 4,566 dunums were allocated to cereals; 191 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. The northern segments of the village lands were mostly forest.

Al-Sawalima probably fell into Zionist hands some time before the end of the British Mandate on 15 May 1948. By this time, Zionist forces were in control of the whole coastal area between Haifa and Tel Aviv (see Abu Kishk, Jaffa District).

There are no settlements on village lands.

Cactuses grow on the village site. No identifiable traces of the former dwellings (tents or adobe houses) remain. Only the remnants of the one-room school are discernable (see Abu Kishk, Jaffa District). A highway runs past the north side of the site (see photo).