PLace

al-Na'ani

Place
al-Na'ani — النَعاني
District
Lydda
Subdistrict
Ramla
Average Elevation
75 m
Distance from Al Ramla
6 km
Population
Year Arab Jews Total
1931 1142
1944/45 1470 590 2060
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 9768 5832 529 16129
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 105 25 529 659
Built-up 51 51
156 25 529 710 (4%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 9277 2769 12046
Plantation and Irrigable 335 663 998
Citrus and Bananas 2375 2375
9612 5807 15419 (96%)
Number of Houses (1931)
300

The village was situated on flat ground on the central coastal plain and linked by a network of secondary roads to Ramla and surrounding villages. A train station on the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway line was next to the village. In the late nineteenth century, al-Na'ani was a small village built of adobe bricks and situated on low ground. Its houses were built very close together and its lands were surrounded by those of the villages of 'Aqir, al-Qubayba, and Zarnuqa. Its population consisted of 1,450 Muslims and 20 Christians. AI-Na'ani had two mosques, one of which was much older than the other, a modest marketplace, and an elementary school, established in 1923, that had an enrollment of about 208 students in 1947-48. An old well in the southwest quarter of the village supplied al-Na'ani with drinking water.

Agriculture represented the chief occupation for the villagers, who cultivated grain, watermelons, and citrus. In 1944/45 a total of 9,277 dunums was allotted to cereals; 335 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. The village was built on an archaeological site identified as al-Khirba; fragments of ancient pottery and mosaics were found there. Tall Malat (137140), which has been identified with the Canaanite settlement of Gibbethon (1 Kings 15:27), lay about 1.5 km southeast of the village.

On 14 May 1948, just before the end of the British Mandate, the Haganah's Giv'ati Brigade reached this village during the implementation of the first stage of Operation Barak (see al-Batani al-Gharbi, Gaza sub-disctrict). According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, al-Na'ani was surrounded and given an ultimatum to hand over its arms, and hostages were taken from the village to ensure compliance. Finally, some arms were handed over and the village was occupied. Morris does not provide a detailed description of how the village and its inhabitants were treated, but writes: 'Many villagers stayed on, apparently, until 10 June, when they were probably ordered to leave or intimidated into leaving.'

Zionists established the settlement of Na'an (136143) in 1930; its buildings are now on village land. Ramot Me'ir (136142) was built on village land, west of the village site, in 1949.

The site is overgrown with Christ's-thorn and eucalyptus trees and a variety of wild plants. The main landmark, the railway station, is now deserted. The railway line itself is used by Israel and now extends south to Bir al-Sabi'. Two deserted houses (including one belonging to Ahmad Jubayl) still remain, together with portions of houses utilized mainly for storing agricultural equipment. The land around the site is cultivated.