PLace

Khirbat Bayt Lid

Place
Khirbat Bayt Lid — خِرْبَة بَيْت لِيد
District
Samaria
Average Elevation
25 m
Subdistrict
Tulkarm
Distance from Tulkarm
12 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 460
1931 298
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 2969 2220 147 5336
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 8987 6 8993
Built-up 23
9009 6 9015 (54%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 4473 4473
Plantation and Irrigable 3264 3264
Citrus and Bananas 1044 1044
5161 (97%)
Number of Houses (1931)
75

The village lay on a slightly elevated hill on undulating terrain that overlooked the coastal plain. Secondary roads linked the village to two nearby highways that crossed the country from north to south and from east to west, providing the village with a connection to Tulkarm. The village was established by people from the village of Bayt Lid who moved to the nearby lower plain in order to exploit the agricultural lands there. They eventually settled on the archaeological site of Khirbat Hunnuna, which came to be known as Khirbat Bayt Lid, after the mother village. The nearby site of al-Mughayr, less than 0.5 km to the north, is identified with the Crusader village of Arthabec (140192). AI-Mughayr was described by the late nineteenth-century British surveyors of Palestine as a small village with olive trees to the north and south.

The people of Khirbat Bayt Lid were Muslims and maintained a mosque. The village also had a community elementary school maintained totally by the residents; this was unusual, as village schools in Palestine even when established by the villagers themselves were subsequently integrated into the public school system and maintained by the government. The residents obtained their domestic water from a deep well. They earned their living primarily from agriculture, which was based on grain, melons, peanuts, potatoes, and olives. Olive trees covered about 50 dunums of land. In 1944/45 a total of 2,877 dunums was allocated to cereals; 64 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.

The earliest incident at the village during the war was reported on 14 February by the Palestinian press. On that date, the newspaper Filastin stated that a village woman was shot and wounded by unknown assailants. Tensions generally ran high in the vicinity of this village in the early weeks of the war. The village was located east of the Jewish settlement of Netanya in an area (between Tel Aviv and Zikhron Ya'aqov) which the Haganah General Staff decided to 'clear' of Arabs before 15 May 1948, in anticipation of the declaration of the Jewish state. Israeli historian Benny Morris says that the villagers of Khirbat Bayt Lid evacuated' out of fear and isolation' on 5 April. But many residents of the coastal area were forcibly expelled over the coming few weeks, and the village had already been targeted by Plan Dalet for occupation by the Alexandroni Brigade.

The settlement of Nordiyya (140191) was established on the village site in 1948. Gannot Hadar (140192), established in 1964, is about 0.5 km northeast of the village site; it is not on village land.

The village site is covered with orchards (mainly citrus). A few olive trees remain. The surrounding land is planted in citrus and other fruits.