Zionist Settlement in Tulkarm District 1920-1948

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Ameen Abu Baker/supervisor
Dr.Zuhair Ghanayem/external examiner
Dr. Mohammad Al-Khateeb/internal examiner
Dr. Ameen Abu Baker/supervisor
Tamara N.M. Mish’al
Tulkarm District coastal area had been subjected to a ferocious colonization campaign which aimed at confiscating most of its fertile lands in order to pave the way for establishment of a national homeland for Jews in the land of Palestine. To that end, there was a need at the beginning to have control over the land to make it a physical base for settlement.This land has always been the core of the Palestinian cause. It has also been the focal point of the Zionist-Palestinian Arab conflict for more than five decades. This Zionist settlement scheme has left social and economic changes and has drawn the interest of both Arab and foreign scholars. This has resulted in publication of a number of scholarly works which all dealt with settlement, migration, land ownership, waqf(endowment),population, mandate, agriculture, popular resistance , rebellions, strikes, and wars. To achieve the Zionist scheme, the Zionist settlements in south and north have been linked to each other to form a complete chain. After confiscation of MarjIbn ‘Amer in the north and Jaffa lands in the south of the country, the Zionists began to confiscate TulkarmDistrict lands in different ways, sometimes directly through purchase from some inhabitants in the area. This was due to ignorance and the overburdening of the Palestinian farmers through imposition of heavy taxes on them as it had happened to Ramel, Zeita and Attil lands. This study was divided into separate units from the north to the south to make it easy for investigation.. The first area included the lands(ramel) of Zeita and Attil villages, which stand on the edge of the northern part of Tulkarm coastal area. This had led to colonial penetration and deportation of people from that area and establishment of settlements on it. In this regard, the researcher focused on four axes: geographical framework which included location, limits, area, elevation, populated centers, colonial concentration and mechanism of land expropriation by the Zionist movement and the consequences in terms of settlement and deportation. Then the researcher addressed the second area,the development of Wadi Al-Hawareth and Al-Qabani lands, the most outstanding land issue in Palestine during the 1930s. It was considered the largest piece of land expropriated by the Zionist movement after control ofMarjIbn ‘Amer and Hula plain. It had sped the expulsion of alarge number of inhabitants of the areas and forced them to wage a life and death battle to prove their rights. The Al-Hawareth issue became a focal point of interest for the Palestinian national political movement at the time. In this regard, the researcher focused on a number of axes: geographical framework of the area in terms of location, area, limits and naming. Then the researcher moved to examining the ways of confiscation of Al-Wadi lands by the Zionist movement, the British Mandate’s attitude towards it, popular resistance to defend the land. The section concludes with examination of the consequences of this land confiscation which included deportation of people, provision of assistance to them and establishment of settlements on it. The third area addressed ownership of lands lying within a group of villages in Western WadiSha’ir and Tulkarm city. These villages included Umm Khalid, Qaqoon and BeitLeed. The researcher shed light on Zionist movement’s confiscation of lands there and establishment of Jewish settlements on them. These included the Jewish city of Netanya. The researcher here focused on a number of axes: location, limits, area, concentration and deportation. A separate chapter was devoted to the southern part of the coastal plain of the district under the title of forests which had covered vast areas of the plain. This term was commonly used by the local inhabitants and it was embodied in the land registry records(tabu) and tax property department. The researcher focused on Jayyous forest, Qufor Sur, Qufor Saba, Miskeh, QoforZeebad, Qofur ‘Aboush, northern forest of Taiba including common lands of Taiba, Tira, Qalansawa,Barakeh,and Ramadan or what is called Basatt Umm Al-‘Alaq. It’sworth noting that the term forests was familiar to local people and was documented in local records and doesn’t carry imply the usage meaning of the term and what it refers to: predominance of trees, and forests on the land. This term was used to refer to waves of destruction which the area had witnessed from time to time in the first half of the 19th century due to a number ofnaturaland human factors.
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