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Shayk Muwannis evacuation
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Posted by hanaa abueid on November 1, 2003
I have been urged relate my family story which is the story of Saykh Muwanis village . as believe , this ..might be an eligible way to RECALL our NAKBA.

I am Hanaa Yusuf Ibraheem Abu Eid - originally from the Shaykh Muwanis village in north of yafa city. my family branchs - Abu Eid , Rayyan and Dahnus - have been deeply rooted in that village . My father ,Yusuf Ibrahim Abu Eid died in EL- Lid 6/6/97
his single brother Ali Abu Eid died in Kuwait during the Iraqi invasion. His single sister Amnah Abu Eid (married to Ahmad Mustafa EL Rayan) died in Amman aug 2000 . Shaykh Mustafah Ahmad Rayan was my grandfather brother in law. Both died in Shaykh Muwanis before 1948 . my grandfather cousin - Mahmud Husayn Abu Eid (died in kuwait 1971) . His big son zaki(hafez)Mahmud Abu Eid ( an electricity minister in kuwait)died and buried in kuwait in 1978 . My grandmother is Rabiha El Dahnus (died in yafa 1960). Her father is landlord Mahmud Jaber El Dahnus (died in Shaykh Muwanis 1944). His cousin Saleh Tayeb El Dahnus (died indiaspora..).
my mother Najiyah ( died in Lid 31/12/98),the single granddaughter of Mahmud El DAhnus , has three brothers - Lutfi (died in Nablus 1991), Ahmad (died in Yafa 1982) and Adnan.

In early 1948 my forth branch ( land lord and merchant ) Mustafa Mahmud El Sayeh family from EL Manshiyah of YAFA - had been forced to move out to join our family in Shaykh Muwannis village. Since the declaration of UN partition plan, fire broke out in YAFA, and EL MANSHIYA quarter had become a front line (for it was very close to Tel Aviv).
After weeks in Shaykh Muwanis the united family had faced a jew brigade resolution(20/3/48) to blockade the village - thus preventing food, fuel and energy supplies.

A village delegation made of the prominant leader , Ibrahim Abu Kheel ,(the owner of the "GREEN HOUSE" (today a Tel Aviv university staff club) and his relative Jamil El Jasir from JLIL - both had negotiated the jews brigade for cease-fire and unblockade ,but in vain. then, they had turned to KING ABDALLA presenting their worriments and misery .The king answer was nothing but " remain and hold tight as far as we subdue TEL AVIV".

Inside the village There was two fire standpoints. In north and in east( near the mosque).The village, as realized, had a dominant possition over the surroundings including jewish settlements. from the hill they had viewed fire and fighting in SALAMEH village(10 k.m south-east). BUT,the Shaykh Muwannis had been physically isolated,(from east and south by jewish settelments, EL AUJA and JRISHA river; from west - by sea),and there was only some (private )guns and some untrained fighters in the village.

In 12/3/48 ,as a fellow, uncle Lutfi with Saleh El Dahnus (a cousin of Mahmud Jaber El Dahnus),his son Ali and Muhammad Abu Dayeh (died in El Tira village 1995)and Shaykh Mustafa El Zayyat - they were kidnapped by jewish brigade(in their way back from Jlil to Shaykh Muwannis nearby Kiryat Shauul Cemetery) .

The last event marked a turning point in Shaykh Muwannis village history. For this event had made the beginning of Shaykh Muwanis families pullout from the village.

Jews brigade resulution since 20/3/48 to blockade the village and prevent residence movement thus cutting it from out side and preventing supply including foods and fuel for water pump motors ;then the Brigade seizure of marginal Baydas houses Southwardly ,rumor about massacres has occered somewhere - all these had pushed the Shaykh Muwannis people out . Since 21/3/03 - israeli deffence forces documents reported - there had been trains of people pulling out. Thus, in 30/3/03 - according to same source - the village had been evacuated and the jew brigade forces seized the village.

Thus ,all efforts - mainly made by Abu Kheel Ibrahim ,and others - to convince people not to leave the village - had failed, for people had also run out of water and food. It is an amazing topic for all that wealthy families - were the first to leave. While Kheel Ibrahim, ,Abu Sa3da Muhammad , Abu Eid Yusuf and the descendant of Mahmuud Jaber EL Dahnus( and of Mustafa El Sayeh family ,those transfered from Manshiyah weeks before) - all these families were the last to leave (about 40 of 3000 soul).

Hayeem Fireberg , a Tel Aviv University historian , claimed that in Shaykh Muwannis he has found no evidence that jews had used force against palestinians during the Nakba. Thus, he conclude, the jew brigade ,HAGANA ,had not intended to evacuate/expel Shaykh Muwanis residence and that the jew had only a military and a strategic intentions- (mainly because the village had a dominate stand point over SDE DOVE air port,which had a strategic importance for the beginning state) .That is why ,he argue, the HAGANA jewish brigade had blockaded the village. Among this he claimed, the abandonment of the village began 24 houre after the blockade leaving behind them much equipments.( );
for eng. Version - view the following link;

Of course the argument above is a void/false one . In many cities and villages - such as DEAR YASIN , El LID, EL RAMLA, TANTURA(Haifa),SAFSAF(SAFAD) and so on - where people avoided evacuation there was a brutal massacre. peaple where killed in cool blood just because they had refused to leave. The blockade policy of the jew brigade was a sophisticated method for transferring palestinians from their homeland. In the case of Shaykh Muwannis the last 40 people avoided to leave - had begun to starve..they had no way..either to leave or to die if not by jews certainly of starvation.

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Posted by Haya on July 8, 2010 #117104

Wow, too much things to read on!
Am a dahnus member and my grandfather is Saleh El dahnus. Thank you for posting this precious information.