Jarash Before 1948
The village stood on the lower western slope of a mountain, surrounded by wadis on the south, north and west. A secondary road linked it to the Jerusalem-Bethlehem highway, passing through the neighboring village of Sufla; another secondary road linked it to Dayr Aban, the largest of the adjacent villages.
In the late nineteenth century, Jarash was described as a village built on the spur of a hill with olive trees growing below it. The village was rectangular in shape, and most of its houses were built of stone. Construction initially extended in a northwestern-southeastern direction, but towards the end of the Mandate, new construction extended in a southeasterly direction along the road to Sufla. Jarash was classified in this period as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazeteer.
The residents of Jarash were Muslims and maintained a shrine for Shaykh Ahmad, a local religious teacher. The village had several small shops, but the villagers relied on the neighboring village of Dayr Aban for other necessities, such as administrative and medical services. Water from domestic use was supplied by wells and by a nearby spring. Crops were watered by rainfall. The villagers cultivated grain on the valley’s floor and tended olive trees and vineyards that were planted on the slopes. Herbs and wild trees covered large areas of the mountain slopes and peaks to the east of the village. These areas were utilized for grazing and as a source of firewood.
In 1944/45 a total of 1,355 dunums was allocated to cereals; 5 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. To the east of the village lay Khirbat Sira, which is identified with a Mamluk/Ottoman village.
Occupation and Depopulation
Between 19 and 21 October 1948, Israeli forces attacked this village, in the context of Operation ha-Har. The main force participating in ha-Har was the Har’el Brigade; its Sixth Battalion was the unit responsible for occupying Jarash, according to the History of the War of Independence.
Israeli Settlements on Village Lands
There are no settlements on village lands. The closest settlement ist Zanoach, which was founded in 1950 about 2 km west of the village site.
The Village Today
The site is overgrown with grass, interspersed with the debris of destroyed houses and stones from the terraces. The ruins of a cemetery lie northwest of the site. Groves of trees cover two hills to the west of the site that are separated by a valley. Carob, fig, almond and olive trees grow on these hills.
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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