PLace

Saqiya

Place
Saqiya — ساقِيَة
District
Lydda
Subdistrict
Jaffa
Average Elevation
25 m
Distance from Jaffa
8.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 663
1944/45 1100
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 5151 447 252 5850
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 20 252 272
Built-up 30
50 252 302 (5%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 2534 354 2888
Plantation and Irrigable 145 145
Citrus and Bananas 2422 93 2515
5101 447 5548 (95%)
Number of Houses (1931)
142

The village was situated on uneven terrain on the central coastal plain. A number of paved roads passing through or near the village afforded it easy access to Jaffa, Lydda, Tel Aviv, and adjacent villages as well. Its name meant 'irrigation canal' or 'water wheel.' In 1596, Saqiya was a village in the nahiya of Ramla (liwa' of Gaza) with a population of 270. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, fruit, and sesame, as well as on other types of produce and property, such as goats, beehives, and vineyards. The Syrian Sufi traveller al-Bakri al-Siddiqi, who toured the area in the mid-eighteenth century, wrote that he passed through Saqiya when he was travelling to Jaffa.

In the late nineteenth century, the village of Saqiya had a well to the south. Its adobe brick houses stood close together. Some concrete buildings appeared in the later years of the Mandate, along with a modest expansion of the village. The population was Muslim. The village had a mosque, opened toward the end of the Mandate, and an elementary school for boys, established in 1936. This school acquired 16 dunums for agricultural training and had an enrollment of 136 students by the mid-1940s. The community worked primarily in agriculture, cultivating fruit, especially citrus, grain, and vegetables. In 1944/45 a total of2,422 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 2,534 dunums were allotted to cereals; 145 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.

According to Israeli sources, the village was attacked and captured on 25 April 1948; a Palestinian source and an Associated Press dispatch both state that it fell a couple of days later, on 27–28 April, along with al-Khayriyya and Kafr 'Ana. In either case, it was one of the villages targeted during Operation Hametz (see Bayt Dajan, Jaffa sub-disctrict). The History of the Haganah states that Saqiya and neighboring villages were all taken 'without a fight.' No mention is made of their residents.

The settlement of Or Yehuda (135159) was established on village lands in 1950 to settle Jews from Iraq and North Africa. Ramat Pinqas (135160) was built in 1952 on land belonging to the neighboring village of al-Khayriyya.

No more than ten houses remain. Some are inhabited by Jewish families, one is used as a workshop for car repair, and others are deserted. One of the occupied houses has a large front door and a garret with a slanted roof extending along the short side. A second house is quite long and has a large number of windows of various sizes. A third is a two-storey house whose second floor is fronted by a facade decorated with wide lancet arches. In addition to the houses, there are truncated walls, the mud-brick foundation of a destroyed building, and other debris on the site. There are also cactuses and sycamore, cypress, Christ's-thorn, and palm trees. Part of the surrounding land is cultivated; the rest is covered by settlement buildings.