PLace

Daliyat al-Rawha'

Place
Daliyat al-Rawha' — داليَة الرَوْحاء
District
Haifa
Average Elevation
200 m
Subdistrict
Haifa
Distance from Haifa
24.5 km
Population
Year Arab Jews Total
1944/45 * 280 320 600
1931 163
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 * 178 9614 216 10008
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total) *
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable * 216 216
Built-up ** 24 19 43
24 19 216 259 (3%)
Cultivable (Total) **
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal * 56 9595 9651
Plantation and Irrigable ** 98 98
154 9595 9749 (97%)
Number of Houses (1931)
46

The village stood on a small hill between two shallow wadis that ran north to south. It was linked by a secondary road to a highway that descended in a southwesterly direction to the Mediterranean and led northeast to the plain of Marj ibn 'Amir. The area extending from Daliyat al-Rawha' (the 'fragrant vine') to the village of Umm al-Fahm to the east was called the bilad al-rawha' (the 'fragrant country'). AI-Maqrizi (d. 1441) wrote that the Mamluk sultan Qalawun stayed in Daliyat al-Rawha' in A.D. 1281 while campaigning against the Crusaders, and that the two sides signed a temporary peace treaty there. In the late nineteenth century the authors of the Survey of Western Palestine saw Daliyat al-Rawha'. They said that it was situated on the west side of a watershed with a good spring on the south. The village's sixty residents cultivated ten faddans (1 faddan = 100-250 dunums; see Glossary).

The village had a rectangular outline that extended from east to west; its houses were made of stone with either mud or cement mortar, and were clustered together. The residents of Daliyat al-Rawha' were Muslims. They earned their livelihood from agriculture and animal husbandry and drew water from the many springs in the area. In 1944/45 they allocated a total of 56 dunums to cereals; another 98 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. To the northwest of the village was a khirba.

The villagers were evicted from Daliyat al-Rawha' as early as February 1948, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris, who states that the village lands had already been bought by Zionist organizations before 1948 and that the villagers were living as tenant farmers. In the beginning of 1948 discussion had already begun within the Zionist establishment regarding what should be done with such communities. A director of the Jewish National Fund (JNF), Yosef Weitz, held a meeting of JNF officials in January 1948 to decide the fate of Daliyat al-Rawha' and another village. Later, Weitz wrote in his diary: 'Is it not now the time to be rid of them? Why continue to keep in our midst these thorns at a time when they pose a danger to us? Our people are weighing up .' Morris reports that in the following month (February), Weitz used his contacts with local Haganah units and Haganah intelligence officers to have tenants evicted from several villages, among them Daliyat al-Rawha'.

While the villagers may have been expelled in February, a story in the New York Times stated that the village was actually occupied on 14 April. That transpired in the course of the battle around the settlement of Mishmar ha-'Emeq (see Abu Shusha, Haifa District), bringing to ten the number of villages seized in an arc south of the settlement. There is indirect confirmation of its occupation in Morris' book; he states that in the same month, JNF official Weitz met with top Haganah commanders, who promised to provide manpower and equipment to help set up a settlement on the village site. Before a settlement was established, however, the village was destroyed. In mid-June 1948, Israeli prime minister Ben-Gurion wrote in his diary that the destruction of the village was complete, almost certainly on the basis of a progress report from Weitz.

Morris states that the JNF established the settlement of Ramot Menashe (155222) on the lands of the village some five months after the eviction of its population and three and a half months after its occupation, on 31 July 1948; this settlement is located between Daliyat al-Rawha' and the nearby Sabbarin. Ramot Menashe is not, however, on the lands of Daliyat al-Rawha' but actually stands on lands that belonged to Sabbarin (152219). Daliyya (157221), established in 1939, is south of the village site on land that originally belonged to the village.

The stone rubble of houses, covered with dirt, bushes, and thorny shrubs, is visible. Clusters of cactus cover a large portion of the site. There are a few olive, chinaberry, and poplar trees scattered about the site, and at the southern edge one can see a large eucalyptus tree. A few meters to the north of this tree there are stones strewn among the cactus plants; these most likely are the remains of the village cemetery. At the southern edge of the site, in the wadi, are the walls of a house with stone floors.