PLace

Dayshum

Place
Dayshum — دَيْشُوم
District
Galilee
Subdistrict
Safad
Average Elevation
600 m
Distance from Safad
12.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 438 438
1944/45 590 590
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 22393 651 23044
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 17081 11 17092
17081 11 17092 (74%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Cereal 4701 640 5341
Plantation and Irrigable 611 611
5312 640 5952 (26%)
Number of Houses (1931)
102

The village stood on rocky but gentle slopes overlooking the ridges along Wadi Fara, which passed to the west. It was near the Lebanese border and was linked via secondary roads to neighboring villages as well as to a highway that led to Safad. In 1596, Dayshum was a village in the nahiya of Jira (liwa' of Safad) with a population of fifty. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, olives, and fruits, as well as on other types of produce and property, such as goats, beehives, and a press that was used for processing either olives or grapes. In the late nineteenth century, Dayshum was a 'well-built' village with about 400 residents. The village houses were situated on the side of a steep hill near the bottom of a valley and had gabled roofs. The village had three mills and several small gardens. The mud and stone homes of the village were built close together. Its entire population was Muslim. Some of these residents were descendants of Algerian immigrants who had fought with 'Abd aI-Qadir al-Jaza'iri against the French colonialists in the 1830s and 1840s; they most likely came with him to the region following his defeat and banishment to Damascus in 1847. As some of their ancestors had been horsemen in Algeria, the villagers of Dayshum took a keen interest in raising horses.

Agriculture, in part dependent upon rainfall and in part irrigated from a creek that coursed through the village, constituted the major source of livelihood for the population. The villagers cultivated mainly grain, fruits, and olives. They also raised livestock and engaged in wood cutting. (Trees to the northeast and southwest of the village provided both fruit and lumber.) In 1944/45 a total of 4,701 dunums was allocated to cereals and 611 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Archaeological sites in the vicinity included two khirbas (Khirbat Dayr Habib and Dayshun) that contained the ruins of corrals, piles of building stones, cisterns, buildings, columns, and rock-cut tombs.

Israeli historian Benny Morris writes that Dayshum was empty when Israeli forces entered it on 30 October 1948, in the early stages of Operation Hiram. He adds that the village was probably evacuated when news reached it of the massacres at nearby Safsaf and Jish, committed by soldiers of the Sheva' (Seventh) Brigade (see 'Arab al-Samniyya, Acre sub-disctrict). Units of the same brigade probably reached Dayshum later in the same operation as they went on to annex parts of the Galilee panhandle. Given the location of the village, the inhabitants probably fled (or were expelled) to Lebanon.

In 1953 the settlement of Dishon (198276) was established just to the east of the village site.

Cactuses and thorns grow on the site. The only indications of the former existence of Dayshum are piles of stones from the destroyed houses and terraces. Moshav Dishon exploits the land around the site for animal grazing and apple cultivation.