Khirbat al-Sarkas Before 1948
At a distance of 42 km from Haifa, the village was located on a small hill about 3 km northeast of Chadera, south of Chadera-'Afula highway. Its name suggests that it may have been founded by Circassians from the southern borderlands of Russia who had been expelled by Czarist armies and had sought refuge in Ottoman territories. Circassians are known to have settled in this region in the nineteenth century. In the Mandate era, it was classified as a hamlet in the Palestine Index Gazetteer.
Occupation, Depopulation, and Israeli Settlements
A new Haganah policy in the area aiming to clear out the Arab inhabitants was enunciated at the meeting of Alexandroni Brigade's Arab affairs advisers on 6 April. An evacuation order was issued on 15 April by the Haganah to the inhabitants of Khirbat al-Sarkas, described by Benny Morris as a friendly Circassian community east of Hadera which had three times defied AHC orders to evacuate its women and children. The evacuation of the women and children took place on 20-22 April, and the men probably left a few days later.
The settlement of Gan Shemu'el was built about 1 km from the khirba in 1913, followed by Talmey El'azar established near the village site in 1952.
The Village Today
There are no traces of any landmarks or houses, only cactuses and spikes of grain are scattered across the site. The land near the site is used by Israeli farmers for raising cattle and growing citrus.
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.
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