PLace

al-Jammasin al-Gharbi

Place
al-Jammasin al-Gharbi — الجَمّاسِين الغربي
Known also as: Jammasin al-Gharbi
District
Lydda
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Average Elevation
25 m
Distance from Jaffa
6.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 566
1944/45 1080
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 529 714 122 1365
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 3 24 122 149
3 24 122 149 (11%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 173 332 505
Plantation and Irrigable 151 143 294
Citrus and Bananas 202 215 417
526 690 1216 (89%)

The village was situated 2.5 km from the seashore on the central coastal plain and was bordered by marshlands. The first part of the village name, al-Jammasin, meant 'buffalo breeders' in Arabic; the second part, al-Gharbi ('western'), distinguished it from its twin village in the east, al-Jammasin al-Sharqi. In the Ottoman tax registers for 1596 Jammasin is mentioned as a 'tribe' in the nahiya of Bani Sa'b (liwa' of Nablus); its members paid taxes on water buffalo. It is not certain that the 'tribe' had actually built the two villages that later bore the same name at that early date, since the area in which they were located was not characterized as an area of permanent settlement in the tax records. They were known to be descendants of nomads who had migrated from the Jordan Valley. By the eighteenth century the people of Jammasin, all of whom were Muslims, had settled in the area. A typical village abode was a khus (a conical or pyramidical hut made of tree logs and branches ), although some houses were built of adobe brick.

In 1922 there were about 200 people living in the village and by 1944 this figure had increased to over 1,000. The children attended school in the village of al-Shaykh Muwannis. The villagers earned their living primarily by raising buffalos, marketing their meat and milk in Jaffa, and using the beasts as draft animals. In addition to animal husbandry, they cultivated fruits, especially citrus. In 1944/45 a total of 202 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 173 dunums were allocated to cereals; 151 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Some people from the village also worked in the outlying citrus groves, particularly the German-owned groves in Saruna.

AI-Jammasin al-Gharbi was probably taken by Zionist troops some time before the end of the British Mandate on 15 May 1948. By this time, Zionist forces were in control of the whole coastal area between Haifa and Tel Aviv (see Abu Kishk and al-Mas'udiyya, Jaffa sub-disctrict).

There are no settlements on village lands, but development from Tel Aviv has taken over the site, which is now part of the Tel Aviv municipality.

The site is overgrown with weeds and grasses, interspersed with cypress, Christ's-thorn, and fig trees and castor-oil (ricinus) plants. A few somewhat dilapidated houses remain, some inhabited by Jews, others deserted. One inhabited house is a two-storey structure that looks like a conglomeration of unrelated rooms of varying size and shape. It has rectangular doors and windows, and the roofs of the rooms on the upper floors are both slanted and gabled. The whitewash on the exterior walls is peeling off. The high-rise apartment complexes of Tel Aviv loom in the background.