article - Al-Tina

Al-Tina, or Khirbet et-Tineh was a Palestinian Arab village in the Ramle Subdistrict of Mandatory Palestine. The village was located between the Shfela and southern Israeli coastal plain. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War on July 8, 1948, by the Givati Brigade under Operation An-Far. It was located 20. km south of Ramla. The hill on which the village was built stands today next to the Kiryat Mal’akhi – Yoav railway station and next to Highway 6. Archeological excavations at the site revealed the remains of a Byzantine settlement.[5]

Place in Ramle, Mandatory Palestine
Etymology: The fig tree[1]
1870s map
1940s map
modern map
1940s with modern overlay map
A series of historical maps of the area around Al-Tina (click the buttons)

Location within Mandatory Palestine


Palestine grid 133/128
Geopolitical entity Mandatory Palestine
Subdistrict Ramle
Date of depopulation July 8–9, 1948[2]

  Total 7,001 dunams (7.001 km2 or 2.703 sq mi)

  Total 750[4][3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces

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Based on the archaeological excavation in the eastern foot of the hill on which the village used to stand, a settlement was established in the site as early as the Byzantine era. Pottery, glassware and coins allowed the researchers to date this settlement to a short period between roughly 375 to 425 CE. The excavation has revealed remains of what may be a storehouse, with many broken wine jars. The structure included a drainage system that collected water from its roof to somewhere beyond the excavation limits. The region is abundant with water and thus the hill serves as a good place for settlement. Elie Haddad who headed the excavation suggested that this abundance of water is hinted in the name of the village, “the fig tree”, as it requires a large supply of water to grow. The identity of the Byzantine inhabitants remains unknown and based on the study, the site remained unsettled until the Ottoman period.[5]

Al-Tina was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers under the name of Safiriyya, as being in the nahiya (“subdistrict”) of Gaza, which was part of Gaza Sanjak. It had a population of 10 households; an estimated 55 persons, who were all Muslims. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, sesame, fruit trees, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 4,350 akçe.[6][7]

In 1838, it was noted as a Muslim village, el Letineh, in the Gaza District.[8] In 1851-52, van de Velde noted many old stone laying about the village.[9]

In 1863 Victor Guérin found a population is four hundred souls. He further noted some antique stones which were scattered in the cemetery or have been placed around the opening of the well.[10]

An Ottoman village list from about 1870 showed that tine had 96 houses and a population of 277, though the population count included men, only.[11][12]

In 1882, the PEF‘s Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as an ordinary adobe village, with a well to the south.[13]

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