PLace

Rantiya

Place
Rantiya — رَنْتِيَة
District
Lydda
Average Elevation
50 m
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Distance from Jaffa
16 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 590
1931 411
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 4155 142 92 4389
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 20 92 112
Built-up 13
33 92 125 (3%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 3518 22 3540
Plantation and Irrigable 99 120 219
Citrus and Bananas 505 505
4122 142 4264 (97%)
Number of Houses (1931)
105

The village was situated on a level portion of the central coastal plain, linked by a secondary road to a nearby highway that led to Jaffa and Lydda. The Lydda–Haifa railway line ran 1.5 km east of it. During the Roman period it was known as Rantia; later, the Crusaders called it Rentie. In 1596, Rantiya was a village in the nahiya of Ramla (liwa' of Gaza) with a population of 132. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, fruit, and sesame, as well as on other types of property, such as goats and beehives. In the late nineteenth century, Rantiya was a small village built of adobe brick. At that time, a main road passed right next to it. Its population was predominantly Muslim.

During the Mandate period, Rantiya was laid out in a rectangular plan along a north-south axis; its houses were built of stone and adobe. It had an elementary school that was started by a teacher in 1931 as a private institution; in 1947, it became a public school, and had forty-five students. Education was financed by the villagers themselves. The village also had a mosque and a handful of shops. The residents relied mainly on the neighboring villages of al-'Abbasiyya (Jaffa District) and al-Muzayri'a (al-Ramla District) for services and for marketing their agricultural produce, including grain, vegetables, and fruit. In 1944/45 a total of 505 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 3,518 dunums were allotted to cereals; 99 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. The people of Rantiya irrigated their crops with water from the dozens of artesian wells that they had dug to the east and south.

Israeli sources report two attacks on this village. The first occurred on 28 April 1948, in the wake of the Irgun attacks on Jaffa and the 'clearing' of the area around the city (see Bayt Dajan, Jaffa District), according to Israeli historian Benny Morris. He implies that Zionist forces did not maintain a foothold in the village, since a second assault was made during Operation Dani (see Abu al-Fadl, al-Ramla District) in early July. Striking at Rantiya before dawn on 10 July, Israeli forces 'cut deeply into Arab territory' on the central front in an effort to envelop al-Ramla and Lydda, according to the New York Times. In the first stages of that operation, described in the History of the War of Independence, Rantiya was overrun by a composite force consisting of jeeps and armored vehicles of the Palmach's Eighth Armored Brigade and the Third infantry Battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade. These two forces occupied Rantiya, along with a string of other villages in the northern approaches to Lydda and al-Ramla, while another Israeli force advanced along a southern axis.

Three settlements were established in 1949 on village lands: Mazor (143161), Nofekh (142161), and Rinnatya (143161). The settlement of Be'erot Yitzchaq (141160), built in 1948 southwest of the site, is not on village lands.

Three deserted houses, standing amid weeds, tall wild grasses, and the debris of several other houses, are all that remains of the village. Two of the deserted houses are made of stone, the third of concrete. All have rectangular doors and windows. Two of them have flat roofs; the third may have had a gabled roof. Cactuses, castor-oil (ricinus) plants, and eucalyptus, cypress, and fig trees further mark the site. Some of the surrounding land is covered by the buildings of the Israeli settlements, but other parts are cultivated.