Miska Before 1948
The village of Miska is thought to have links to the early days of the Islamic conquest by the Arabian tribe of Miska.
The village stood on a slightly elevated, sandy hill on the coastal plain, along the north bank of a wadi. According to the Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi (d.1228), Miska was well known for its fruit, especially the misk (musk) apple variety which was said to have been transferred to Egypt by the Fatimid vizier al-hassan al-Yazuri, who died in 1058.
During the Napoleonic invasion in 1799, Miska was a point where French troops passed on their way to Acre.
In the late nineteenth century, Miska was a small village populated by only 300 people. Olive trees were planted to the north and south, and fig and palm trees scattered throughout the village. Water sources were abundant throughout the village, supporting citrus, bananas, greens, cucumbers, watermelons, and other produce.
The village formed a square shape and was divided into four unequal sections by two streets that intersect at the center. The population was Muslim and maintained a mosque and an elementary school. Towards the end of the British Mandate, the village expanded north, away from the wadi.
Occupation and Depopulation
The Haganah ordered the villagers to leave Miska on 15 April 1948, but the order was not heeded. On 20-21 April the Alexandroni Brigade attacked Miska and forcible expelled its inhabitants. This fell in line within an earlier decision by the Haganah command, on the 15 May, to ensure the evacuation of all Arab communities from the coastal area between Tel Aviv and Zikhron Ya’aqov south of Haifa.
In early June the Jewish National Fund (JNF) embarked upon the destruction of this village, along with a number of others. By 16 June, Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion was able to write in his diary that the destruction of Miska was proceeding. However, Ben-Gurion carefully avoided giving the JNF his written permission for the destruction of Miska and other villages, presumably to avoid implication in the action.
Israeli Settlements on Village Lands
Sde Warburg was established in 1938 on lands that had traditionally belonged to the village. Mishmeret in the northwest was established in 1946 and is also on village lands and close to the site. 1 km due west of the site and just off village lands lays Ramat ha-Kovesh, founded in 1932.
The Village Today
Today the village is covered with citrus groves, enclosed by cactuses growing along the perimeter. The two-room school still stands and serves as housing for the watchmen who guard the orchards.
The mosque now serves as a storehouse for hay bales and agricultural tools. Fragments of the village well and surrounding enclosure can be seen today among the surrounding Israeli citrus trees throughout the land.
Source: al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.