Open Access Articles- Top Results for Al-Tira, Haifa

Al-Tira, Haifa

See Tira for other sites with similar names.
Arabic الطيرة
Name meaning The Fortress[1]
Also spelled Tirat al-Lawz
Subdistrict Haifa

32°45′42.58″N 34°58′30.77″E / 32.7618278°N 34.9752139°E / 32.7618278; 34.9752139Coordinates: 32°45′42.58″N 34°58′30.77″E / 32.7618278°N 34.9752139°E / 32.7618278; 34.9752139{{#coordinates:32|45|42.58|N|34|58|30.77|E|type:city_region:IL |primary |name=

Palestine grid 148/240
Population 5,270 (1945)
Area 45,262 dunams
Date of depopulation 16 July 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities HaHotrim,[3][4] Tirat Carmel,[4] Megadim,[4] Kefar Gallim,[4] Beyt Tzvi[4]

al-Tira (Arabic: الطيرة‎, also called Tirat al-Lawz or "Tira of the almonds" to distinguish it from other al-Tiras) was a Palestinian town located 7 kilometres south of Haifa.[5]

It was made up of five khirbets, including Khirbat al-Dayr where lie the ruins of St. Brocardus monastery and a cave complex with vaulted tunnels.[6]


The Crusaders called al-Tira, St. Yohan de Tire,[7] and in the thirteenth century the village contained a Greek Orthodox abbey of St. John the Baptist.[8][9] In 1283 it was mentioned as part of the domain of the Crusaders, according to the hudna between the Crusaders and the Mamluk sultan Qalawun.[10]

Ottoman era

In 987 H. (1579 CE) it is recorded that Assaf, the sanjaqbey of Al-Lajjun, built a mosque in the village.[11]

In 1596, al-Tira was a village with a population of 286 under the administrative jurisdiction of the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Shafa, part of Sanjak Lajjun of the Ottoman Empire. It paid taxes on a number of agricultural products, including wheat, goats, beehives, and vineyards,[12]

Victor Guérin visited in 1870, “I first examined a small mosque, which appears to have been formerly a Christian church. Aligned from west to east it has only a single nave and is terminated towards the east by an apse. One enters through a rectangular door crowned by a fine monolithic lintel. This church, which has been constructed with very regular ashlars, is covered by slightly pointed vaults, above which there is a flat terrace roof.”[13]

After the heavy conscription imposed by the Ottomans in 1872, there was a decline in the village's prosperity, but it subsequently recovered.[14]

British Mandate era

By 1945, its 5,240 Muslims and 30 Christians shared two elementary schools, one for boys, the other for girls. Its economy was based on the cultivation of grain, vegetables and fruit, watered with the natural springs of the village. In 1943, al-Tira produced more olives and oil than any other village in the Haifa District. The abundance of almond trees in al-Tira gave rise to the village's nickname, Tirat al-Lawz ("Tira of the almonds").[12]

1948 and later

Tira was lightly attacked by the Haganah on the night of 21–22 April 1948 "to prevent assistance being given to the Haifa Arabs", according to a British report. This caused an evacuation of some women and children of the village, according to Haganah military sources. At dawn on April 25, the Haganah mortared Tira, and in the early hours of 26 April it launched a strong attack on the village, with the apparent aim of conquest, using mortars and machine guns. An infantry company reached the eastern outskirts of the village and conquered positions on the Carmel slopes overlooking the village, but was apparently halted by fire from British units. The village's non-combat population was then evacuated by the British, leaving several hundred armed men to defend it. It fell to Israeli forces in July.[15]

Tira was first settled with Jewish immigrants in February 1949; by April it contained 2,000 settlers.[16]

The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the village remains in 1992: "The village site is partly occupied by an Israeli settlement. Some of the houses, such as one belonging to 'Irsan al-Dhib, remain standing. The cemetery is unkempt and there are several broken gravestones. The remains of two shrines are visible and the school is used by Israeli students, both Arab and Jewish. There are forests and some residential houses in the mountainous part of the surrounding land."[12]

Al-Tira had two mosques, named the Old and the New. The Old mosque was originally a church, and was already out of use by 1932.[17] The New mosque appears to be still standing, but now converted into a synagogue. The age of the New Mosque is not agreed upon; Pringle states that it is the mosque built by Assaf in 1579 C.E. However, Petersen, who inspected it in 1994, reports that this is incorrect, and that an inscription set in an arched recess by the door to what was the entrance to the prayer hall records, in provincial nasskhi script, the construction of the mosque to Ishaq ibn Amir in 687 H. (1288-1289 CE)[17]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 117
  2. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #173. Also provides cause of depopulation.
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xx, settlement #8.
  4. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p. 198.
  5. ^ "Welcome to al-Tira". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  6. ^ Rami Nashashibi (1996). "Destroyed Palestinian Villages: al-Tira". Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  7. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 195
  8. ^ Pringle, 1998, pp. 370-1
  9. ^ Also cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 306
  10. ^ al-Qalqashandi version of the hudna, referred in Barag, 1979, p. 208, no. H2
  11. ^ Heyd, 1960, 110 n.4. Cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 306
  12. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p.196.
  13. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. 282-3
  14. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p.285. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.196
  15. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 208-209
  16. ^ Golan, 2001; Spatial Transformation (In Hebrew). Cited in Morris, 2004, p. 395
  17. ^ a b Petersen, 2001, p. 306



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