Umm al-Faraj

Umm al-Faraj — أُمّ الفَرَج
Average Elevation
30 m
Distance from Acre
10.5 km
Year Arab Total
1931 415
1944/45 800 800
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 821 4 825
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Built-up 15 15
Non-Cultivable 1 4 5
16 4 20 (2%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Total
Citrus and Bananas 745 745
Plantation and Irrigable 42 42
Cereal 18 18
805 805 (98%)
Number of Houses (1931)

The village was situated on a flat spot in the Acre plain. It was traversed by a highway that connected Tarshiha, the settlement of Nahariyya, and Acre. The Crusaders called it Le Fierge. In the late nineteenth century, the village of Umm al-Faraj was built of stone and had a population of 200. Its residents planted fig, olive, mulberry, and pomegranate trees. Its older homes were built close together and formed a circle, while the houses built after 1936 were scattered among the orchards. The entire population of Umm al-Faraj was Muslim, and derived its livelihood from agriculture. In 1944/45 a total of 745 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 18 dunums were allotted to cereals; 42 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.

On 20–21 May 1948, forces of the Carmeli Brigade attacked this and a number of other western Galilean villages in the second stage of Operation Ben-Ami. Specifically mentioning Umm al-Faraj, the operational orders issued by the Brigade commander directed his troops to 'kill among the men' and to 'destroy and burn the villages.' Israeli historian Benny Morris adds that most villages in this area were razed by Haganah sappers, either during this operation or later.

In 1949 part of the settlement of Ben Ammi was established on village lands.

Only the stone mosque remains. It is shut and stands in a state of decay amid tall wild grass. Many trees that might predate the village's destruction can be seen. The nearby lands are cultivated; a banana grove belongs to the Ben Ammi settlement.