Khirbat Qumbaza Before 1948
At 21.5 km distance from Haifa, the village was located in the midst of rolling hills descending to the coastal plain, 7 km to the west. A secondary road connected the village to the Wadi Milh highway, 3 km away, which linked the coastal plain to the northern end of Marj ibn 'Amir. In the late nineteenth century, Khirbat Qumbaza was described as 'a small hamlet on high ground'. One km to the southeast lay the maqam of Shaykh Quttayna, above which was Khirbat Quttayna, where the remains of earlier structures have been discovered.
Occupation, Depopulation, and Israeli Settlements
The village may have been occupied in May 1948, according to Benny Morris. Support for this speculation comes from the fact that nearby Umm al-Zinat was captured on 15 May by units of the Golani Brigade. Moreover, the New York Times quoted Haganah sources on 15 May as saying that Jewish forces had taken several villages on the slopes of Mount Carmel and near 'Afula. This occurred in the wake of the occupation of Haifa; Haganah units were ordered to strike at villages in the city's hinterland in order to 'clear' the area of its inhabitants and establish an alternative route for Haganah military convoys going to the south, since the local Palestinian population blocked the coastal road south of Haifa. Khirbat Qumbaza, located in the vicinity of the inland supply route, was probably targeted for capture at that time.
Some of the village lands are part of a military training area. The settlement of Kerem Maharal, built in 1949, is also close to the village site.
The Village Today
The entire area is reserved for military training and is inaccessible to the public.
Source: al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.
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