PLace

al-Ashrafiyya

Place
al-Ashrafiyya — الأشْرَفِيَّة
Known also as: Ashrafiyyat Abd al-Hadi
District
Galilee
Subdistrict
Baysan
Average Elevation
-125 m
Distance from Baysan
4.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 48
1944/45 230 230
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 4608 1293 810 6711
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Public Total
Non-Cultivable 227 227
227 227 (3%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Cereal 7 510 583 1100
Plantation and Irrigable 4458 772 5230
Citrus and Bananas 143 11 154
4608 1293 583 6484 (97%)
Number of Houses (1931)
11

The village stood on a flat area about 2 km to the east of the al-Faqqu'a (or Jilbu') Mountains, and overlooked low-lying lands to the north and west sides. Mount Tabor was visible in the distance on the northwest. On the eastern side the village faced the highlands east of the Jordan. This elevated location may explain the village's name, al-Ashrafiyya, which was derived from the Arabic verb "to overlook." The location also afforded the village protection from the flooding of Wadi al-Maddu', which flowed west of it. The Baysan-Jericho highway ran about 2 km east of al-Ashrafiyya, and a secondary road linked the village to this highway. It was classified as a hamlet during the Mandate era by the Palestine Index Gazetteer.

The people of al-Ashrafiyya were Muslims, and built their mud houses in clusters, separated by narrow alleys. Most of its lands were cultivated, thanks to the abundance of water from rain and springs, the fertility of the soil, and the easily-tilled, level terrain. Agriculture consisted primarily of vegetables, fruit trees such as citrus and bananas, and olives. In 1944/45 a total of 143 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 7 dunums were allocated to cereals; 4,458 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Most of the villagers worked in agriculture and animal husbandry.

Units of the Golani Brigade attacked and captured the village on the night of 10-11 May 1948 as part of Operation Gideon. The assault was undertaken as a prelude to the attack on Baysan the following day. Baysan's other "satellite village," Farwana, was occupied at the same time. Both were probably among eight villages reported captured near Baysan on 13 May, according to the Associated Press. Relying on Israeli sources, Israeli historian Benny Morris writes that the inhabitants of Farwana fled to Transjordan "as the troops approached" and that after its capture "Haganah sappers began to blow up the village houses."

Two settlements that were established in 1948, Reshafim and Sheluchot, are located east of the village site on village land.

The site and the area around it are cultivated by the residents of Reshafim. A fishery also has been built on the site.