PLace

Yasur

Place
Yasur — ياصُور
District
Gaza
Subdistrict
Gaza
Average Elevation
50 m
Distance from Gaza
40 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 653 654
1944/45 1070 1070
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 13102 2871 417 16390
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 78 417 495
Built-up 35 35
113 417 530 (3%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 12173 2117 14290
Plantation and Irrigable 180 13 193
Citrus and Bananas 636 741 1377
12989 2871 15860 (97%)
Number of Houses (1931)
129

The village stood on a plateau on the coastal plain, linked by secondary roads to one highway that led to the city of al-Majdal, to the southwest, and to another highway that led to Ramla, to the northeast. During the Mamluk period (1205–1517), a mail station between Gaza and Damascus was located in Yasur, although this was later transferred to the village of Bayt Daras. In 1596, Yasur was a village in the nahiya of Gaza (liwa' of Gaza), with a population of 303. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, fruit, and sesame, as well as on other types of produce, such as goats, beehives, and water buffalos. In the late nineteenth century, the village of Yasur had a well to the south and large gardens to the north and east. It was densely populated; its adobe brick houses were built close together, separated by meandering, narrow alleys. The residents were Muslim. A handsome mosque was located at the village center, as were a number of shops. The center also contained an elementary school that was opened in 1923, for which enrollment reached 132 students in the mid-1940s. The villagers drew water for domestic use from wells. Agriculture was the backbone of their economy; they cultivated grain, citrus, olives, and vegetables. In 1944/45 a total of 636 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 12,173 dunums were allotted to cereals; 180 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Grain cultivation relied on rainfall, whereas citrus and vegetables were irrigated. The inhabitants drew their irrigation water from wells that were 25–40 m deep.

The History of the War of Independence states that the village was occupied just before the first truce of the war took effect, on the night of 10–11 June 1948. 'The truce approached—one night remained for operations,' the account reads, 'and, in fact, many operations were planned for this night, and most were implemented.' One of these was an operation to capture Yasur by the First Battalion of the Giv'ati Brigade. These small thrusts to capture individual villages or positions occurred in the wake of Operation Barak, which was launched in the first half of May.

According to the Haganah account, the name of the village was changed to Chatzor, presumably when a settlement was established there. This is probably a reference to Chatzor Ashdod, founded in 1937 on lands that traditionally belonged to al-Batani al-Gharbi, more than 2 km to the northwest.

The settlements of Talmey Yechi'e and Bene 'Ayish were established in 1949 and in 1958, respectively, on village lands.

The village is a closed, fenced-in military zone. At the village entrance there is a sign: "TAT Aircraft Parts Industrial Firm." A single undemolished house stands some 10 m away from the entrance. Next to it is a demolished one and a number of cactuses. A dirt road, lined by cactuses and olive and almond trees, passes by the southern boundary of the fence. The area inside and outside the fence has also been planted with eucalyptus trees.

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