PLace

al-Haditha

Place
al-Haditha — الحَدِيثَة
District
Lydda
Subdistrict
Ramla
Average Elevation
125 m
Distance from Al Ramla
8 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 520
1944/45 760 760
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 6544 157 409 7110
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 1853 55 407 2315
Built-up 16 16
1869 55 407 2331 (33%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Cereal 4419 102 2 4523
Plantation and Irrigable 246 246
Citrus and Bananas 10 10
4675 102 2 4779 (67%)
Number of Houses (1931)
119

The village was situated on a hilly spot on the eastern edge of the central coastal plain, on the west bank of Wadi al-Natuf. It was 1 km east of a main road connecting Lydda, Bayt Nabala, and other villages farther north and was linked to it by a secondary road. Al-Haditha was also connected by secondary roads to a number of neighboring villages. It has been identified with the Biblical locality of Hadid (Ezra 2:33), where 720 Jewish exiles returning from Babylon were settled. The site may have been the Hellenistic 'Adida which was fortified by Simon Maccabeus (1 Maccabees 12:38). Architectural fragments in the village attest to its long history. The Byzantine historian Eusebius (A.D. 260-339), who was born in Palestine (Caesarea), wrote that the village was east of Lydda. In the nineteenth century the French traveller Guérin, who visited Palestine several times, wrote that al-Haditha stood on top of a hill and consisted of several houses.

Al-Haditha originally had a trapezoidal layout that became rectangular, toward the end of the Mandate, as the village expanded. Its houses were clustered around the center, which contained a mosque, a small marketplace, and an elementary school, founded in 1924, which had an enrollment of forty-two students in 1943. All of the people living in al-Haditha were Muslims. Their main economic activity was agriculture, and their most important crops were grain and olives. In 1944/45 a total of 10 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 4,419 dunums were allotted to cereals; 246 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, of which about 200 dunums were olive groves.

AI-Haditha was occupied on 12 July 1948, while the occupation of Lydda and Ramla was in progress. This occurred in the first stage of Operation Dani (see Abu al-Fadl, Ramla sub-disctrict). Two months after its occupation, on 14 September, Israeli prime minister Ben-Gurion consigned it to partial destruction 'because of a lack of manpower to occupy the area [in depth].' In accordance with a newly-instituted procedure, Ben-Gurion asked a special ministerial committee, formed to oversee the demolition of villages, to approve the destruction of al-Haditha.

The settlement of Chadid (143152) was established in 1950 on village lands, 2 km northwest of the ruins of the destroyed village.

The stone and concrete rubble of destroyed houses is visible on the site. Only one house remains; it is sealed and deserted. It has a gabled, tiled roof, and a sign ("BROADWAY 80") is glued to one of its walls. There are also clusters of trees on the site, including Christ's-thorn, olive, and eucalyptus trees. The old village road remains and has been enlarged. The surrounding land is cultivated.