PLace

Abu Kishk

Place
Abu Kishk — أبو كِشْك
District
Lydda
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Average Elevation
50 m
Distance from Jaffa
12 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 1007
1944/45 1900
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 17121 901 448 18470
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 390 17 448 855
390 17 448 855 (5%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 14018 447 14465
Plantation and Irrigable 226 226
Citrus and Bananas 2487 437 2924
16731 884 17615 (95%)

The village was situated in a flat area on the central coastal plain, about 2 km northwest of the al-'Awja River. A secondary road linked it to the Jaffa–Haifa highway, and similar roads connected it to neighboring villages. The site first served as a seasonal camping ground for the nomadic 'Arab Abu Kishk and later evolved into a permanent village. Its houses were dispersed in no particular pattern, clustered in groups, and its population was predominantly Muslim. The village had a school, founded in 1925, with an enrollment of 108 students by the mid-1940s, among them 9 girls. There were also a number of small shops. The shrine of one Shaykh Sa'd lay north of it in the fields stretching between Abu Kishk and the neighboring village of al-Sawalima. In 1944/45, 2,487 dunums of its land were planted with citrus and bananas, while 14,018 dunums were allotted to cereals; 226 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Agriculture depended on rainfall as well as irrigation (from artesian wells), which was especially important for the orchards. In addition to crop cultivation, the residents engaged in raising livestock.

Abu Kishk probably fell into Zionist hands some time before the end of the British Mandate on 15 May 1948. Palestinian historian 'Arif al-'Arif indicates that by this time, Zionist forces were in control of the whole coastal area between Haifa and Tel Aviv. Abu Kishk may have been affected by events in the adjacent village of al-Shaykh Muwannis; both villages were located just beyond the borders of Tel Aviv and were targeted for attack early in the war. Israeli historian Benny Morris writes that 'the final evacuation of the area just north of Tel Aviv was prompted in large measure by IZL [Irgun Zvai Leumi] actions….' An earlier agreement between the villagers of al-Shaykh Muwannis and the Haganah to observe a truce in the area did not deter the IZL from striking at the community leaders. The IZL infiltrated into the village at the end of March 1948 and kidnapped five of the village leaders. The attack prompted a large flight of people from the surrounding coastal area (presumably including Abu Kishk).

The village site lies in the suburbs of the expanding town of Hertzeliyya (135174).

A fenced-in military hardware manufacturing complex occupies the site and a large area around it. Cactuses and almond trees grow near an overpass that has been built across the highway that runs through the complex. Outside the fence, on the southeast side of the village site, are the remnants of two houses, one of which had been a private school for the children of al-Sawalima.