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Welcome To The City of al-Ramla
District of al-Ramla
الرمله - רמלה
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Town Statistics and Facts

Statistic/Fact

Value
Occupation date

July 12th, 1948

Elevation from the sea 108 meters
Maps Map of al-Ramla city


Map of al-Ramla district and neighboring villages

Attacking Israeli force Haganah and IZL forces attacked the city soon after al-Lydd's occupation. The city encirclement and attached from two sides: 
The 1st was originated from Petach Tikva, Qula, al-Muzayri'a from, and the 2nd attack was originated from the Beit Shamin.
City defenders Transjordan army, some Arab Liberation Army, and local Palestinian militias.
The people of al-Lydd and al-Ramla should be very proud of their city defenders because in April and May 1948, they launched several counter attacks on the Zionist forces, which resulted in the liberation of several surrounding villages between al-Lydd and Jaffa, plus the liberation of al-Lydd train station & its airport.

The question which begs itself: -
What would have happened if these heroes were given the chance of defending their cities?
Acts of terror On February 18th, 1948, a Zionist terrorist, disguised as an Arab, planted a bomb in one of al-Ramla's Suqs (markets), which killed seven civilians and injured 45 others, many of the victims were women and children.
Ethnic cleansing Soon after the city's occupation, the Zionists made an agreement with its inhabitants that they could stay. But soon after, the Zionists reneged on their promise and detained over 3,000 men in a concentration camp, and on the same day they started looting the city. On July 14th, 1948, the city's inhabitants were ethnically cleansed (forcible expulsion) out of the city. From the 17,000 Palestinians who used to call al-Ramla home, only 400 people were allowed to stay.

Yitzhak Rabin, the Noble Prize winner, has written in his diary soon after Lydda's and Ramla's occupation:

"After attacking Lydda [later called Lod]
Ben-Gurion would repeat the question: What is to be done with the population?, waving his hand in a gesture which said: Drive them out!.
'Driving out' is a term with a harsh ring, .... Psychologically, this was on of the most difficult actions we undertook." (Soldier Of Peace, p. 140-141)

Later, Rabin underlined the cruelty of the operation as mirrored in the reaction of his soldiers. He stated during an interview (which is still censored in Israeli publications to this day) with David Shipler from the New York Times on October 22, 1979:

"Great Suffering was inflicted upon the men taking part in the eviction action. [They] included youth-movement graduates who had been inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humaneness. The eviction action went beyond the concepts they were used to. There were some fellows who refused to take part. . . Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action . . . to explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action." (Simha Falpan, p. 101)

Just before the 1948 war, the residents of the twin cities, Lydda and al-Ramla, almost constituted 20% of the total urban population in central Palestine, inclusive of Tel-Aviv. Currently, the former residents and their descendents number at least a half a million, who mostly live in deplorable refugee camps in and around Amman (Jordan) and Ramallah (the occupied West Bank). According to Rabin, the decision to ethnically cleanse the twin cities was an agonizing decision, however, his guilty conscious did not stop him from placing a similar order against three nearby villages ('Imwas, Yalu, and Bayt Nuba) 19 years later. The exodus from Lydda and al- Ramla was portrayed firsthand by Ismail Shammout, the renowned Palestinians artist from Lydda itself, click here to view his exodus gallery. To learn more about the ethnic cleansing of Lydda and al-Ramla based on declassified Israeli archives, we suggest clicking here as well .

Click here if you wish o learn more about cleansing Lydda and Ramla based on declassified Israeli documents and personal diaries.

Refugees' migration route On July 14th 1948, the " Jewish Army" terrorized the inhabitants of al-Lydd and al-Ramla into fleeing to Ramallah via al-Qubab, Salbit, Bayt Nabala, and Kufr Ein. Close to 55,000 people clogged the roads in and out of Ramallah for weeks, where 350 Palestinians died due to exhaustion and dehydration. As the refugees were departing the twin cities, many of them, especially the women, were robbed, stripped of their jewelry and money at roadblocks that were manned "Jewish Army". In that respect, it's worth quoting Aharon Cizling, the 1st Israel Agriculture Minister, who stated in July, 1948 :

". ..It's been said that . 'there were cases of rape in Ramla. I can forgive rape, but I will not forgive other acts which seem to me much worse. When they enter a town and forcibly remove rings from the fingers and jewelry from someone's neck, that's a very grave matter. ... Many are guilty of it." (1949, The First Israelis, p. 71-72)

It's very sad that for the first time in the twentieth century, terrorizing civilians out of their homes was used to achieve military and political objectives. In that regard, Yigal Allon explained how this expulsion had a "positive" impact on the war, at least from the hit point of view. He stated in mid-July 1948:

"clogged the routes of the advance of the [Transjordan Arab] Legion and had foisted upon the Arab economy the problem of "maintaining another 45,000 souls . . . Moreover, the phenomenon of the flight of tens of thousands will no doubt cause demoralization in every Arab area [the refugees] reach . . . This victory will yet have great effect on other sectors." (Benny Morris, p. 211 & Israel: A History, p. 218)

Often, the Israeli commanders on the scene were encouraged to use refugees to burden the enemy's war machine, clog their roads, divert food and other supplies away from their enemy, and to demoralization the population and the Arab armies.

City's name though history al-Ramla was founded by Sulyman Ibn 'Abdel Malik ('Umayad dynasty) in 715 A.D. The city's name (which means "The female of the sand" in Arabic) may have been named after the abundance of sand in the area, or it could have been named after a beautiful woman named Ramlah who was generous to Sulyman Ibn 'Abdel Malik at al-Lydd!

From the time it was founded until the Crusades' conquest in 1099 AD (almost for 400 years), al-Ramla was the Provincial Capitol of Palestine (Jund Filisteen).

City's size In 1945, al-Ramla's city covered an area of 1,769 dunums, which included 200 dunums for roads, wadies, and railroads, ... etc.
District's
size and population

In 1945, al-Ramla's municipality covered an area of 926.7 square kilometers of which Zionist owned 163.6 square kilometers only.

Poulation Total Arabs

Jews

1922 49,075 45,149 3,926
1931 70,579 N/A N/A
1945 127,270 97,998 29,272
Nearby wadies and rivers To the west of the city, al-Ramla bordered Wadi al-Sarar just before it terminates into al-'Awja river.
Weather
Category

Note

Temperature The average temperature in al-Ramla ranged from 13 Celsius in January to 26 Celsius in August.
Humidity 65%
Rainfall On average al-Ramla received 500 millimeters of rainfall every year.
Major plantations In the years between 1942-1945, al-Ramla had 3,663 dunums planted with citrus trees (of which only 18 dunums were planted by Zionists), and 7,420 dunums were planted with olive trees.

Since Israeli still maintains and enforces the "Law Of Absentees", most of Ramla's industries, farms, buses, cars, railroads, cattle, real states, ... etc. have been looted and became the property of the "Jewish state". When similar injustices were perpetrated against Europe's Jewish citizens by the Germans and the Swiss during WWII, the Jews of the world demanded justice for their looted art works and properties. The question which begs to be asked is :-

Are the Palestinian people entitled for compensation for their looted properties?

Distance from other towns
Town Distance From Jaffa
Jerusalem 45 (km) south east
'Aqir 9.5 (km) south west
Bab al-Wad 21 (km) south west
al-Lydd station 3.5 (km) north
Beitach Tikvah (Mlabiss) 24 (km) north west
al-Majdal-'Asqalan 48 (km) south west
Sarafand prison camp 5 (km) north west
Weil Helma (German colony) 13 (km) north west
Jaffa 18 (km) north west
Population
Year Total Muslim
Arabs
Christian
Arabs
Jews
1922 7,312 5,837 1,440 35
1931 10,347 8,156 2,184 5
1945 15,160 11,900 3,260 N/A
1947 16,380 N/A N/A N/A
1949 1,536 400* N/A N/A
1950 10,592 1,368* N/A 9,224
1960 30,000 N/A N/A N/A
1973 36,000 4,800* N/A 31,200
* The statistic includes Muslim and Christian Arabs.
Number of houses In 1931, al-Ramla had 2,339 houses, which either were all looted or destroyed by the "Jewish state".
City's income and expenses
Year Income* Expenses*
1927 4,590 4,610
1932 5,719 6,150
1935 5,627 5,847
1939 6,278 5,642
1940 7,540 5,800
1943 11,379 10,883
1944 25,170 13,808
* In Palestinian Pound
Schools
School Notes
al-Ramla
Junior High*
Complete Junior High for boys, which had an enrollment of 890 boys (81 seniors) in 1947-1948 school year. The school also had a staff of 24 instructors, and it had a library that contained 2,406 books. The city allocated for the school a land, which covered an area of 25 dunums, south of al-Nabi Salih (east of al-Ramla).
Banat
al-Ramla*
The school was a complete elementary and a partial junior high for girls. In 1948, it had an enrollment of 473 girls (15 seniors), and a staff of 13 instructors, which had a library that used to contain 1,120 books.
Busatn
al-Ramla**
A mixed pre-school (up to the 1st grade) located in the southern borders of the city. In 1948, the school had an enrollment of 145 boys and 165 girls, and a staff of 6 instructors.
al-'Islahyah** Pre school located in al-Mahss neighborhood, which had an enrollment of 100 students.
al-'Inath
al-Watniyah**
N/A
al-'Abasyah*** An Islamic elementary school (up to 5th grade) which had an enrollment of 166 students in 1946.
Sait Josef*** Christian school for the girls.
Latin
Tarasanta***
Christian school.

* Government school
** City school, and also not that all city schools have cumulatively 39 instructors.
*** Private school
Please also note that their were few foreign schools which we have no data about.

Click here, for general school statistics.

Israeli settlements within city borders The city of Ramla occupies the city plus Ahismakh in the north east, Matsliah in the south, and Yad Rambam in south east on the road to al-Qubab.

al-Ramla's School Statistics

Students Enrollment Breakdown By School Type (based on 1946 census)

Students Enrollment

Government City Others Total
Boys 727 96 716 1,539
Girls 400 83 460 943
Total 1,127 179 1,176 2,482
Percentage 45.4% 7.2% 47.4% 100%

Town Today

Soon after occupation, the city was occupied by Jewish settlers; and for some time all the properties of the Christian and Muslim Palestinians were used in aiding the new Jewish settlers. The old city center is intact, but a newer Ramla has been built. The Israelis changed the name of al-Ramla's main street to Herzl street.
The city attracted many industries including cement, pharmaceutical supplies, cigarettes, construction materials, electrical motor supplies, ... etc. Frankly, the data we have collected is very old, and we really appreciate any input about the current status of the city. Please do not hesitate to share you data in the Stories and Memories section below.

Bibliography

Our primary sources for the above data was Biladuna Filisteen (second set, volume four) by Mustafa Murad al-Dabagh and The Palestine Encyclopedia.

More Information
Language External Links
Arabic PalGates
Hebrew Nakba in Hebrew
  Nakba-Online

Display Name Clan/Hamolah Country of Residence
هشام الكتوت - amman, jordan
محمد فحجان - UAE, Dubai
أبو ركان عرفه عمان
ابو جهاد علي عودة رام الله, قولة
أحمد الحلواني الصادق jordan, الرملة
مالك الجمزاوي عمان-ضاحية الاقصى, الرملة
الدكتور احمد عبد العزيز احمد سرحان سرحان رام الله
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أبو زهير أبوحويله العقبة, الأردن
رملاوي عبدربه -
Adnan Awad Awad -
أسماء الشوبكي الشوبكي -
yahya alezz Alezz jordan, jordan
قطر الندى - -
هبة الشوبكي الشوبكي عمان, الأردن
لينا ضمرة ضمرة -
ثائر النمر عمان
بلال سعسع سعسع سوريا, فلسطين
HANTHALAH1948 - Amman, Jordan
fadia al tellawi jordan, jordan
افكري ابراهيم شرورو شرورو السردي الزرقاء, الاردن
علاء مهدي أبولبن أبولبن -
لؤي مقبل - الزرقاء, الأردن
adel al taji al farouki altaji amman, jordan
ابو زيد السلال الاردن, الاردن
رامي الزغلي عاشور amman, jordan
omar din الدن amman, jordan
خميس الدن الدن al ramleh
عماد دياب دياب مسقط, مسقط
محمد رزق رزق -
سمير الشيخ الشيخ -
عبدالله ابو شمله ابوشمله الاردن, الاردن
الهرباوي الهرباوي الزرقاء, الاردن
عامر عابدين عابدين عمان, الاردن
النورس الحزين عاشقة فلسطين amman, -
محمد علان علان -
جميل ابولبن - DUABI, UAE
issam sousou sousou -
Mohammad AliHassan AliHassan -
عاشق فلسطين - الاردن
WAHDan WAHDAN وهدان jordan, amman
Ahmad Hawwari Hawwaaro Georgia, USA
do3a2 mansour - الاردن
dena خليل amman, jordan
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Mohannad Hussein Amman, Jordan
Yaqub Hamadeh - Dubai, U.A.E.
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الحج احمد كلاب خانيونس, بشيت
shadi mezhir mezhir jeddah, ksa
ashraf ahmad haddad haddad united arab emirates
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عبدالله النخله الاردن, الاردن
hossam alkadash amman, jordan
nabil - al ramla
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khalid hamdan hamdan NSW, Australia
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احمد خطاب خطاب بيت سيرا
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