Umm al-Shawf Before 1948
At 29.5 km distance from Haifa, the village stood on the southern, sloping section of Wadi al-Marah in the bilad al-rawha' and faced north. It was linked by a number of secondary roads to the coastal highway and the Haifa-Jinin highway, as well as to the neighbouring villages. In the late nineteenth century, Umm al-Shawf was a small village that extended from the southeast to the northwest. Two springs north of the village supplied it with water. Its estimated 150 residents were Muslim and their houses were made of stone with either mud or cement. The village had a mosque and a shrine for a local sage, Shaykh 'Abd Allah. The village economy was based on agriculture and animal husbandry, and the most important crops were grain and olives.
Occupation, Depopulation, and Israeli Settlements
Ilan Pappe writes that after the Mishmar Ha-Emek massacre and the destruction of some even larger villages, it was the Irgun who contributed its share of the continued destruction of Palestine's countryside. They completed the vengeful attack on the remaining villages in Marj Ibn Amir, while the British Mandate troops were still there: Sabbarin, Sindiyana, Barieka, Khubbeiza and Umm al-Shawf. According to Benny Morris, Umm al-Shawf was destroyed on 12-14 May 1948.
Giv'at Nili, founded in 1953, is on village lands south of the site.
The Village Today
Piles of stone debris from the houses are scattered about the site, which is overgrown with cactuses, thorns, and bushes. The shrine of Shaykh 'Abd Allah still stands.
al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.
Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge: 2004.
Pappe, Ilan. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. Oxford: 2006.
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