PLace

Zab'a

Place
Zab'a — زَبْعَة
District
Galilee
Average Elevation
-225 m
Subdistrict
Baysan
Distance from Baysan
5.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 170
1931 146 147
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 156 3424 388 3968
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Public Total
Non-Cultivable 388 388
Built-up 60
60 388 448 (11%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 156 3364 3520
156 3364 3520 (89%)
Number of Houses (1931)
37

The village was located on Wadi Yubla (also called Wadi al-'Ashsha), at the point where the wadi entered the Jordan Valley area. Both the Baysan-Jericho highway and the railway line leading from Haifa to Samakh (and ultimately to the Hijaz railway) passed directly to the east. The village, which was classified as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer, had a rectangular plan. Its adobe houses and narrow alleys ran from northwest to southeast, away from the wadi; they may have been laid out in this pattern so that they would not be flooded in winter.

The village's location, the richness of its soil, and its abundant water supplies made it an early target for takeover by the Zionists during the British Mandate. Zab'a's inhabitants, all of whom were Muslims, were successful farmers and grew vegetables, fruit, and grain before their land was acquired by Jewish settlers. In 1944/45 all of the 156 dunums that were left in the hands of the villagers were allocated to cereals. Two km east of the village was Tall Isma'il, on top of which was a Bedouin cemetery. Because the soil of such mounds, which contain the remains of earlier settlements, is soft, they are attractive to Bedouin as cemetery sites.

In 1937 Zionists established the settlement of Beyt Yosef some 2 km northeast of the village site, on land that they had purchased but that had once belonged to the village. Doshen, a farm belonging to the 'Yitzur ve-Pittu'ach' organization, was established in 1955 on village land, close to the village site.

The site is covered with grass, lotus trees, and stones. Israelis have established several agricultural projects and fisheries on the village land. Other parts of the surrounding land are used for grazing.