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Khirbat al-Jawfa

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 19.01.2007:

Khirbat al-Jawfa Before 1948

The village stood on the top of a small circular plateau that extended from the northern slope of a mountain (Jabal Faqqu’a). It overlooked the Jordan Valley to the north and northeast, and was linked by a dirt path to the village of Tall al-Shawk in Baysan District. It was classified in the Mandate era as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer.

Occupation and Depopulation

Although the village was part of Jinin District, it was separated from Jinin by Jabal Faqqu’a and was more strongly affected by events in the town of Baysan, only 7 km to the west. Thus it was probably captured by the Haganah’s Golani Brigade in May 1948, during its push towards Baysan and the surrounding valley. According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, the residents of Khirbat al-Jawfa may have fled on 12 May as a result of the capture of Baysan, which surrendered on the same day.

Israeli Settlements on Village Lands

After 1948 the armistice line separating Israel from the West Bank fell a short distance to the west of Khirbat al-Jawfa, cutting through the lands of the nearby village of Faqqu’a (now on the West Bank). The lands of this village that were east of the armistice line, inside Israel, have been combined with the lands that belonged to Khirbat alJawfa. Hence it is no longer possible to distinguish the lands of Faqqu’a from those of Khirbat al-Jawfa The settlement of Ma’ale Gilbo’a (189209), founded in 1962, in located inside this amalgamated parcel of land, southwest of the village site.

The Village Today

Although sections of some walls still stand, most of the former houses have been reduced to rubble. The entire area has been fenced in and is used as a grazing area for cows. A large water tank belonging to kibbutz Ma’ale Gilbo’a is on the site.

Source: Khalidi, Walid. All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington, D.C: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992.

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