Friday, 20 July 2007

Hayatt is from Ellar-Aida (Adyah) Refugee Camp, Bethlehem

Hayatt's family was from Ellar (Allar) and was re-located to Adyah Camp in 1948. Her family still holds the key to their old home. All of her family were depopulated and live in the camp near one another with the continual hope to return to their historical lands.

Ellar (Allar)

(Allar al-Fawqa)

Allar is located 17.5 km from Jerusalem.
In 1931 the population was not known. In 1944-1945 it was 440. The land usage in 1944/45 was 12,353 dunums for Arab, 0 for the Jewish and 3 for public use.

The village overlooked Wadi al-Sarar with a secondary road that connected it to Bayt Jibrin to Bethlehem. In 1596 the village was in the nahiya of Jerusalem with a population of 204. They paid taxes on wheat, barley, olive trees, molasses, goats and beehives. The sister village is Allar al-Sufla. By 1875 the population of All al-Fawqa was 400.

The houses were built of stone and connected by narrow winding streets. There were small shops and had four maqams (shrines). The village had an elementary school.

Israeli historian Benny Morris, said that Allar was captured on 22 October, 1948 during Operation ha-Har. This was an Israeli offensive launched by the army’s Har’el and Etzioni brigades after the second truce. The objective was to widen the Israeli-held corridor to Jerusalem and link it with territory occupied in the Hebron hills. They moved in to occupy a number of villages in the southern half of the Jerusalem corridor. The operation worked with Operation Yo’av, that was further south in the Gaza district. Their aim was to get rid of Palestinian civilian communities in the areas occupied.

The population was either expelled or fled under pressure, to the direction of Bethlehem (to Adyah Camp) or to Hebron. Many of those that fled went to live in caves in the hills around Hebron, but a few months later, they were expelled.

Today, the settlement of Matta is located on the village and it was occupied in 1950. Gar-Giyyora was also founded in 1950, and is located just on the northeast side, on the village lands.

There still remains rubble of the stone terraces and walls, one structure was the old school building that overlooks the site.

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