al-Murassas Before 1948
The village stood on a low ridge the jutted up between Wadi al-`Ashsha (to the north) and Wadi Jalud (to the south). It overlooked the terrain to the south, which gradually descended to Wadi Jalud. A secondary road connected it to a highway running between Baysan and the village of `Afula, to the northwest, which ultimately led to Haifa, on the coast. Other secondary roads linked it to several neighboring villages. In 1596 al-Murassas was a farm that paid taxes to the Ottoman government. A few springs west of the village, together with wells that collected rain water, satisfied the water needs of the villagers.
In the late nineteenth century, Al-Murassas was a small village, situated on high ground and built of adobe bricks, surrounded by farmland. A small forest lay to the west of the village site. The village plan was circular in shape, with the houses concentrated around the crossroad at the village center. A few houses were also built on the eastern height of the village. Of the 460 people living in Al-Murassas, 450 were Muslim, and 10 were Christians. The villagers worked in agriculture, which has based on grain and vegetables, and planted the farmlands to the west and north of the village. In 1944-45 a total of 9,894 dunums was allocated to cereals; 16 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. An ancient pool in the southern part of the village, called al-Fakht, contained a cistern.
Israel Settlements on Village Lands
There are no Israeli settlements on the lands. Sde Nachum, founded in 1937 some 3 km to the south of the site, was built on the lands of the town of Baysan. Beyt ha-Shitta, established in 1935 on land purchased from the village of Shatta, is 4 km west-southwest of the site.
The Village Today
The village site is part of an agricultural area that is exploited by the settlements of Sde Nachum and Beyt ha-Shitta. The only structures on the area are telephone poles and a small shed. A small tell on the site, surrounded by plowed fields, is littered with rubble.
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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