aI-’Ulmaniyya Before 1948
The village was located in the southwestern part of the (-Hula Plain, near the western shore of Lake al-Hula. A secondary road linked it to a highway leading to Safad. In 1596,‘Ulmaniyya was a village in the nahiya of Jira (liwa’ ofsafad) with a population of fifty-five. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and barley. Produce and property such as goats, beehives, water buffalos, and orchards were so taxed. In modern times al-’Ulmaniyya as oriented north-to-south. Some of its houses belonged to the ‘Arab al-Zubayd Bedouin, who lived about 1.5 km from the village center. The population of al-’Ulmaniyya was predominantly Muslim. Water for domestic use was provided by nearby springs. Agriculture, especially grain cultivation, was the mainstay of its economy. In 1944/45 1,135 dunums of their land was allocated to cereals. The villagers also raised livestock. There were traces of earlier habitation in the village, and to the northwest were artificial caves that had been cut into the rock.
Occupation and Depopulation
Israeli historian Benny Morris provides two accounts of the depopulation of al-’Ulmaniyya. The first states that the villagers left in the wake of a Haganah “retaliatory strike” (actually a massacre) on the nearby village of al-Husayniyya on 18 January 1948. The other account, based on Israeli military intelligence, states that they evacuated their village three months later, on 20 April, just after the beginning of Operation Yiftach (see Abil al-Qamh, Salad District). This is said to have occurred either in response to a direct attack or to the threat of an attack. The two reports are not necessarily incompatible, however, and may imply that the first evacuation was partial or temporary. But the second displacement was most likely final, since practically the whole of eastern Galilee was depopulated during Operation Yiftach.
Israeli Settlements on Village Lands
There are no Israeli settlements on village lands. However, the settlement of Yesud ha-Ma’ala , established in 1883, is 2.5 km southeast of the village.
The Village Today
The site is thickly wooded with eucalyptus trees, making it difficult to discern any remains of the village. Work is proceeding on street construction for Lake al-Hula’s nature preservation area. Some of the surrounding lands but are cultivated, most have either been made part of the preservation area or are marshland.
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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