'Allar — عَلاّر
Known also as: 'Allar al-Fawqa
Average Elevation
675 m
Distance from Jerusalem
17.5 km
Year Arab Total
1944/45 440 440
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 12353 3 12356
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 9754 3 9757
Built-up 12 12
9766 3 9769 (79%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Total
Cereal 2234 2234
Plantation and Irrigable 353 353
2587 2587 (21%)

The village stood on the northeastern slope of a mountain range and overlooked a tributary of Wadi al-Sarar that ran parallel to this range. A secondary road connected it to a road that linked Bayt Jibrin to Bethlehem and that ran 1 km south of 'Allar. In 1596 'Allar was a village in the nahiya of Jerusalem (liwa' of Jerusalem) with a population of 204. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, olive trees, molasses, goats, and beehives. The traveler Edward Robinson saw it in 1838 when he passed through the area. He said it was on a hill, slightly above its sister village, 'Allar al-Sufla (see Khirbat al-Tannur, Jerusalem District). By 1875 it had a population of approximately 400. In the late nineteenth century, 'Allar was built on the slope of a ridge with a well to the south and rock-cut tombs to the north. The village stretched out along an approximately east-west axis. Its houses, built of stone, were connected by narrow, winding streets. Small village shops were built along those streets. The residents of 'Allar were Muslims and maintained four maqams (shrines) in the vicinity. Their children were educated in the village elementary school.

The villagers relied mainly on agriculture for their livelihood, and cultivated grain, vegetables, olives, and grapes. Most of these crops were rainfed, but some were irrigated with water drawn from the several springs around the village, including 'Ayn al-Tannur. In 1944/45 a total of 2,234 dunums was allocated to cereals; 353 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Wild trees and grass also grew on village lands. The village also had several khirbas in its vicinity, including Khirbat al-Shaykh Ibrahim (156125), named after one of the local religious teachers whose tomb had been made into a maqam.

According to research conducted by Israeli historian Benny Morris, Allar, captured on 22 October, was one of a string of villages occupied during Operation ha-Har. The population of this region either was expelled or fled under pressure, probably in the direction of Bethlehem and the Hebron hills. A large number of refugees remained encamped in the gullies and caves around their villages, only to be expelled during Israeli raids in subsequent months.

Israel established the settlement of Matta' (155124) on the southern edge of the village site in 1950. Bar-Giyyora (157126), also founded in 1950, is northeast of the site. Both are on the village lands.

Stone rubble, concrete blocks and slabs, and steel bars litter the site, together with the remains of stone terraces and walls. One domed stone structure, the former school building, still stands. On the slopes overlooking the site, almond and cypress trees and cactuses grow along the terraces.