PLace

Khirbat Zalafa

Place
Khirbat Zalafa — خِرْبَة زَلَفَة
Known also as: Zalafa
District
Samaria
Average Elevation
25 m
Subdistrict
Tulkarm
Distance from Tulkarm
15 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 * 210
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 * 6865 617 231 7713
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total) *
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable * 20 3 231 254
Built-up ** 3
23 3 231 257 (3%)
Cultivable (Total) **
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal * 6798 505 7303
Plantation and Irrigable ** 6 109 115
Citrus and Bananas *** 38 38
6842 614 7456 (97%)

The village stood on a small, slightly elevated hill in the middle of a wide plain. It was linked by secondary roads to neighboring villages, as well as to 'Attil, the 'mother' village. Originally, the people of Khirbat Zalafa came from 'Attil to farm the village lands; they gradually settled in the village so that they could be closer to their farms. In the late nineteenth century, Khirbat Zalafa was described as a small hamlet with springs to the south. The village had a small core of houses but many of the village dwellings were scattered throughout the agricultural lands. Agriculture was based on watermelons, vegetables, grain, and olives. In 1944/45 a total of 38 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 6,798 dunums were allotted to cereals; 6 additional dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.

The Haganah command considered the coastal area north of Tel Aviv to be 'the core of the emergent Jewish state,' and decided to 'secure' it before 15 May 1948, by depopulating it of its Arab inhabitants. During early April a series of expulsion orders were issued to the communities that remained. About mid-April, Haganah representatives reached an agreement with the villagers of Khirbat Zalafa to the effect that, if they left, local Zionist settlements would safeguard their property and allow them to return to their homes after the war. Israeli historian Benny Morris states that they 'may have been pressured to leave.' At the end of that month and in early May, the houses of the village (as well as a number of others) were systematically destroyed by the Haganah, assisted by the local Zionist settlements. No information is given about what happened to the village land.

There are no Israeli settlements on village land.

The village has been completely levelled. Both the original site and the surrounding lands are covered with Israeli citrus orchards.