PLace

Farwana

Place
Farwana — فَرْوَنَة
District
Galilee
Average Elevation
-125 m
Subdistrict
Baysan
Distance from Baysan
4.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 330 330
1931 286 286
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 3942 1054 4996
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 42 658 700
Built-up 11 11
53 658 711 (14%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Cereal 3847 396 4243
Plantation and Irrigable 42 42
3889 396 4285 (86%)
Number of Houses (1931)
72

The village stood on flat ground in the Baysan Valley, on the highway between Baysan and Jericho. Farwana may have been derived from an Arabic phrase, farana al-khubzu farnan or 'the bread was thoroughly baked [in the oven],' due to the hot climate of the Jordan Valley. The village houses, built of adobe brick, were crowded together, separated only by narrow alleys. The village was surrounded by agricultural lands, where a number of springs flowed and eventually fed Wadi al-Maddu'. In 1944/45 a total of 3,847 dunums was allotted to cereals; 42 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. About 300 m southeast of the village was Tall al-Sarim, a large tell containing the ruins of a city that was bifurcated into upper and lower parts. This city is sometimes identified with Rehob, a center of Egyptian rule over Palestine in the second millenium B.C. Excavations some 200 m south of this tell uncovered tombs dating to the late third and early second millennium B.C. The ruins of a third century A.D. synagogue were discovered northeast of the village site in 1969.

Farwana was targeted for attack in mid-February 1948, as a nearby battle raged around the Jewish settlement of Tirat Tzvi. The Palestinian daily Filastin reported on 19 February that Zionist forces attempted to encircle the village from the north and east, but were driven back by Farwana's defenders. According to the newspaper account, the attackers blew up three empty houses before withdrawing.

Israeli historian Benny Morris writes that on the night of 10-11 May 1948, units of the Golani Brigade attacked and captured the village, along with neighboring al-Ashrafiyya. Both were located on the outskirts of Baysan and were occupied in preparation for the final assault on the district capital, on 12 May. The village was probably one of eight villages in the Baysan area reported by the Associated Press as captured on 13 May. Morris reports that the inhabitants fled across the Jordan River 'as the troops approached,' adding that sappers from the Haganah lost no time in blowing up the village houses and completely destroying the village.

The settlement of Rechov  was founded in 1951 to the north of the village site on village lands. The model farm of Chawwat Eden is to the west, on village lands. The settlement of 'En ha-Natziv  was established in 1946 just to the northeast of the village site, on lands belonging to the town of Baysan. Sde Terumot  was also established in 1951 west of the village site, on land belonging to al-Samiriyya.

The only remains of the village are the ruined walls and floors of houses. The site is overgrown with wild vegetation and contains an archaeological dig. The lands around it are cultivated by Israelis.