Open Access Articles- Top Results for Suhmata


Jewish settlers at Suhmata, 1949
Arabic سحماتا
Name meaning possibly from "black"[1]
Also spelled Soukhmata[2] Sahmatah, Samueth, Samahete
Subdistrict Acre

33°00′18.64″N 35°18′13.79″E / 33.0051778°N 35.3038306°E / 33.0051778; 35.3038306Coordinates: 33°00′18.64″N 35°18′13.79″E / 33.0051778°N 35.3038306°E / 33.0051778; 35.3038306{{#coordinates:33|00|18.64|N|35|18|13.79|E|type:city_region:IL |primary |name=

Palestine grid 179/268
Population 1,130[3] (1945)
Area 17,056[3] dunams
Date of depopulation 30 October 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Tzuriel, Hosen

Suhmata (Arabic: سحماتا‎) was a Palestinian village, located Script error: No such module "convert". northeast of Acre. It was depopulated by the Golani Brigade during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.


Separated from the neighbouring village of Tarshiha by a deep gorge, the ruins of a Byzantine era church lay within Suhmata's village lands.[5][6] Underground water reservoir and a burial cave that apparently dates to the Roman period have been found at the village site.[7][8] Suhmata had a Christian population at least until the Persian invasion of Palestine (A.D. 614-627)[9] and presumably many people remained Christian for some time after that.[10] What was earlier termed a Crusader-era castle constructed in the village was (rebuilt by Daher el-Omar in the latter half of the 18th century), turned out to be the Byzantine church.[6][10] Excavations in 1932 revealed an inscription in the church's mosaic floor that dates to 555 CE.[11]

The Crusaders referred to the village as Samueth or Samahete.[6] In 1179, Baldwin IV confirmed the sale from Viscountess Petronella of Acre of houses, vineyards and gardens in Samueth, the village of Suphie, and some houses in Castellum Regis to Count Jocelyn III, uncle of Baldwin IV, for 4,500 bezants.[12] However, Ronnie Ellenblum writes that it is unlikely that there was actual Frankish settlement in Suhmata at this time.[13]

Ottoman era

In the late Ottoman era, in 1875, Victor Guérin visited Suhmata, and noted that "the village [is] divided into two distinct quarters, occupies two hills near each other, between which is a great birket, partly cut in the rock and partly built. One of these hills is crowned by the remains of a fortress flanked by towers and built with simple rubble; it contained several subterranean magazines, a mosque, and various chambers. The foundation is attributed to Dhaher el Amer. It is now three parts demolished, and on the place where it stood grow vines and tobacco."[14]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as "a village, built of stone, containing about 400 Moslems, situated on [a] ridge and [the] slope of [a] hill, surrounded by figs, olives and arable land; there are several cisterns and a spring near.[15]

An elementary school for boys was founded in the village in 1886.[10]

British Mandate era

During the Mandatory Palestine, an agricultural school was established.[10] The schools, a mosque, a church, two rain-fed irrigation pools, existed up until 1948.[10]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Submata had a population of 632; 589 Muslims and 43 Christians,[16] increasing in the 1931 census to 796; 752 Muslims and 44 Christians, in a total of 175 houses.[17]

Over 70 percent of the village land was rocky and uncultivated, covered with oak and wild pears. The agricultural land was planted with wheat, barley, maize, tobacco, and vegetables. Suhmata's tobacco had a reputation for quality.[10] In 1944/45 Suhmata had a population of 1,130, with a total of 17,056 dunams of land.[3] Of this, a total of 3,290 dunums was allocated to cereals; 1,901 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards,[18] while 135 dunams were built-up (urban) area.[19]

1948 war and aftermath

During Operation Hiram, on 30 October 1948, the First Battalion of Israel's Golani Brigade assaulted the village, resulting in the exodus of its villagers.[20] The village was left in ruins.[21]

A naming committee established by the Jewish National Fund, which operated from 1948 to 1951 until its incorporation into a Governmental Naming Committee set up by Israel, renamed Suhmata, "Hosen", meaning "Strength." Meron Benvenisti writes that the committee chose this symbolic new name after determining that there was no known Jewish historical connection to the village of Suhmata.[22]

Suhmata's former inhabitants founded a village committee in 1993 which organizes volunteer efforts. The village committee also conducted a survey of the displaced population from Suhmata and their distribution inside Israel.[23] The village was also the focus of the 1996 play Sahmatah by Hanna Eady and Ed Mast.[24]

See also


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 54
  2. ^ Guérin, 1880, p.74
  3. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 41
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, xvii, village #64. Also provides cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ Robinson, 1856, p. 76.
  6. ^ a b c Pringle, 1997, p. 118
  7. ^ Lerer, 2008, Zuri’el
  8. ^ Lerer, 2009, Suhmata
  9. ^ Makhul, Naji 1977, (Acre and its villages since Ancient Times. In Arabic.) p.134, quoted in Khalidi, p.29
  10. ^ a b c d e f Khalidi, 1992, p.29
  11. ^ Avi-Yonah, 1933: "The Byzantine Church at Suhmata." The Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine 3 (2) pp. 92-105, quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 29
  12. ^ Strehlke, 1869, pp. 11-12, No. 11; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 156, No. 587; cited in Ellenblum, 2003, p. 45, note #10.
  13. ^ Ellenblum, 2003, p. 45, note #10.
  14. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 74-75, as translated in Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 192
  15. ^ Conder & Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p.149
  16. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 36
  17. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 108
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 81
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 131
  20. ^ "Welcome to Suhmata". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  21. ^ Mansour, 2004, p. 220.
  22. ^ Benvenisti, 2000, pp. 34-35
  23. ^ Masalha and Said, 2005, p. 98.
  24. ^ Americans for Middle East Understanding February - March 1999



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