PLace

Nuris

Place
Nuris — نُورِس
District
Samaria
Average Elevation
150 m
Subdistrict
Jenin
Distance from Jinin
9 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 570 570
1931 429 429
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 6247 9 6256
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 3029 9 3038
Built-up 36 36
3065 9 3074 (49%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Total
Cereal 2935 2935
Plantation and Irrigable 243 243
Citrus and Bananas 4 4
3182 3182 (51%)
Number of Houses (1931)
106

The village was built on both sides of a shallow wadi, below the peak of the steep slope of Mount al-Mazar (see al-Mazar, Jinin District). The Haifa-Samakh railway, which ultimately joined with the Hijaz railway line, passed northeast of the village. Nuris was linked by a dirt path to the village of al-Mazar, atop the mountain, and by another road to the village of Zir'in. Crusader sources mention it as Nurith. In the area around Nuris, the Mamluk armies of Egypt triumphed over the Mongols in the decisive battle of 'Ayn Jalut (A.D. 1260). In 1596, Nuris was a village in the nahiya of Jinin (liwa' of Lajjun), with a population of eighty-eight. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, and olives, as well as on goats and beehives. In the early nineteenth century the British traveler Buckingham noted that it was surrounded by olive trees. In the late nineteenth century, Nuris was described as a small village built on rocky terrain that concealed much of the village; it stood about 185 m above a valley. The plan of the modern village was rectangular, extending in a northeastern-southwestern direction. Most of its houses were built of mud and cement. House construction extended westward along the road that linked Nuris to Zir'in.

The population of Nuris was Muslim. The village had a mosque and a small marketplace at its center. It also had an elementary school, founded in 1888 under the Ottomans. There were several springs north of the village, the most important of which was 'Ayn Jalut (or Jalud), one of the largest springs in Palestine. Water from the spring was utilized for domestic use as well as for irrigating the village orchards. In 1944/45 a total of 4 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 2,935 dunums were allotted to cereals; 243 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, of which 40 dunums were planted with olive trees. No study has yet been made of the ancient remains that appeared in the village, including a sarcophagus.

Well before Nuris was occupied, on 18 March, an Arab Liberation Army (ALA) commander cabled headquarters that 'the battle of Nuris ended today with the intervention of the British army.' ALA forces were reported to be in control of the area surrounding the village and the hills to the north. Attacks by Haganah forces continued on the following day on both Nuris and Zir'in in an attempt to 'eliminate these villages,' which controlled the Baysan-Haifa road. Many Haganah soldiers were reported killed during the attacks. The New York Times confirms that a Haganah raiding party approached the village on 19 March, and was wiped out by its Arab defenders. A larger Haganah force approached later in the day and lost another five men. British troops rushed to the scene, fired mortars at the Arab forces and 'encouraged the Jews to return to their colony,' according to a British police statement.

The village was attacked again on 29-30 May 1948, and its residents are reported by Israeli historian Benny Morris to have been expelled. The History of the War of Independence states that the unit responsible for the attack was the Fourth Battalion of the Golani Brigade, which had earlier participated in the occupation of the Baysan Valley to the northeast, and was preparing to assist in the occupation of Jinin. Morris notes that over a month earlier, on 19 April, Palmach headquarters issued orders 'to destroy enemy bases' in this and two other villages. It is not clear whether those orders were carried out at the time. The New York Times correspondent said that two Israeli columns moved toward the Triangle area 'against strong opposition,' capturing Nuris and nearby al-Mazar. Around six weeks later, the Associated Press (AP) reported that Iraqi army units and Palestinian irregulars managed to drive Israeli forces out of Nuris, as well as six nearby villages. 'Arab foot soldiers, supported by armored cars, artillery and mortars, stormed across an open plain north of Jenin to drive Israeli troops' from the villages, according to the AP report. Some of these villages eventually remained in Arab hands, but it is not clear how Nuris was later reoccupied.

In 1950, the settlement of Nurit (183216) was established on village land, northwest of the village site.

The site, overgrown with pine and oak trees, is strewn with piles of stones. Part of the surrounding land is fenced in and is used as a grazing area, while another part is cultivated. Cactuses and olive and fig trees grow near the site.