Khirbat al-Damun Before 1948
At 10.5 km distance from Haifa, the village was located on the higher reaches of Mount Carmel, along the eastern bank of Wadi Falah. It was directly connected to Haifa by a secondary road, while a shorter one connected it to the highway that led to the city. The residents of Khirbat al-Damun were Muslims, and practiced agriculture and animal husbandry as main economic activities, with grain as the most important crop. They also grew olive trees and their lands contained several forests. At the base of the village there was a cave which was used as a sheep fold, leading to a series of subterranean rooms. Flint artifacts at the entrance of the cave were dated to the Neolithic period at the latest.
Occupation, Depopulation, and Israeli Settlements
Although no date is given for the occupation of the village, judging from its location it was most probably captured either just before or shortly after the fall of Haifa, in late April 1948. Following the capturing of Haifa, the Hagannah committed numerous forces to the occupation of the surrounding villages in order to strengthen its hold on the city. Even though the nearby village of al-Tira managed to hold out until July, it was heavily attacked in the last week of April, and women and children were evacuated. The New York Times reported that while al-Tira was being attacked on 26 April, 'another nearby village' was occupied by Jewish forces. Khirbat al-Damun, the closest village and otherwise unaccounted for, is most probably the one.
There are no settlements on village lands.
The Village Today
All that remains from the village is a building now used as a prison. Cactuses and fruit trees, such as pomegranate and almond trees, grown on the site, while the land is forested and the area is currently used by Israelis for recreation.
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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