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Memories on the fall of Majdal Yaba
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כדילתרגם לעברית
Posted by Khaled El Sala on December 6, 2004
It was a nice spring in 1948. Every morning, I used to join my father to look after our land located past camp Ras El-Ain as we used to call it. We owned a horse; we used to cross the fields stretching form Majdal Yaba to the Auja river. Our field was a nice field north of the Auja river (Now called Yarkun River), we call that field Al-Shallaf.

After his day long work, my father will have a swim, sometimes he would cut a piece of an old banana tree for me to use as a floating board. I recall that one day he climbed in a pine tree and dived in the river staying for a long period of time to the point that I thought he drowned, he surprised me by surfacing from my back.

Camp Ras El-Ain was the home of the British RAF, 120 Maintenance Unit. That is the central store of the British Royal Air Force (RAF). See http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Palestine/units.html


I was 7 years old when the last RAF Regiment left Camp Ras El-Ain on May 14, 1948. I can recall I joined my father as usual, when we went close to the Camp, we were shot at. We thought it was from the RAF but later on, we came to know that it was the Jewish terrorists (the Hagganah, the Irgun and the Levi, the Stern Gang) as the RAF themselves used to call them, who took over the place from the RAF. We ran back to Majdal Yaba.

From my research, I found out that there were many Jews who served at RAF, not only in Palestine, but also in many parts of the world including the UK itself see http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/ww2/sugar4.html

This served the Jewish terrorists a lot, and allowed them access to information and raw data ahead of even some non Jewish members of the RAF which in many times saved their lives on the expense of the non-Jewish members.

It looked very much like a formal handing over of the place with all the equipment, guns, rifles, ammunitions, clothing, food and all other supplies. That place was a very strategic and detrimental point in the history of Palestine. With the Jewish terrorists taking the place from the RAF, they were in a stronger position.

There was a 500 mm Caliber gun in Majdal Yaba, manned by the Iraqi Army; this gun was very beneficial where no single Jewish terrorist could come close to the town. One day, one helicopter came to our small town, and took that gun away, next day, less than a month from the date the RAF handed over Camp Ras El-Ain, and on 14th day of the holy month of Ramadan, a mortar bomb exploded at our yard unrooting a fig tree. We were asked to relocate to the nearby small village of Dair Ballout for the army to take care of the Jewish terrorists. We were told that we would stay there for a week or so.

To our surprise Arab armies were much faster and expeditious than the RAF in the handing over formalities.

The days and weeks and years and decades passed on, many conferences, and summits held, more promises where broken, more suffering to endure.

I haven't seen Majdal Yaba again but as a tourist in May 1995.

I travelld together with my wife from Jordan, I used my car, we spent the first night in Dair Abu Mishaal. No road signboard will ever tell you anything about Majdal Yaba or Majdal Sadeq, I just followed my senses, and I knew Allah will guide me to my birth place. From Dair Abu Mishaal I drove to Yafa & from thier I took the road going to the east, I guess it was Road #5. Before Kfar Qasem on Road #5, I saw a signboard to turn right towards Rosh Ha؟ayin, it sounded like Ras El-Ain, so I took that road, that was Road #444, then took a left turn into Rosh Ha؟ayin. I came to a T-junction, I can see something like a castle over the hill facing that T-junction. I can feel that I am back home. I took a right turn and climbed a dirt road to the ruin.

It was our village, Majdal Sadeq, the village is gone, except Qalaat Al-Rayyan & Barazeddin Tomb, the cemetery and the foundation of few houses.

While climbing the Majdal Yaba hill, and after having an overview look at the place, I told my wife (I still remember very much this place, I can still smell the citrus trees around it, and I can still see it's people coming back from their work at the quarries). I stood facing a small tomb we call BarazEddin, and looked to my lift hand and said to my wife, (here we should find the house of Abu Tawfeeq Al Sala, and down hill to the west we should find the house of Abu Ali Al Ejleh)your uncle. Then I removed some bushes, and found out the foundations of the house of Abu Tawfeeq Al Sala. Then I told her while walking passed Abu Tawfeeqs house, (I should find the water well where we used to play around) and WOW, here it is, just infront of me, laying there, as we left it, unharmed, and I sat down, I can stand no more, all the memories started rolling in my mind, everything passed very quickly, oh my God, ya Allah, and I started to cry,,,


By Khaled
(on behalf of his father) Husien Matar Al-Sala (Abu Wahid)

P.S. I will try to extract some more data from older family members who lived
to see the tragedy. See also the Arabic Article about Sharoon's agreement with Bush which gives more memories and insights together with the Majdal Yaba map in the pictures section


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Post Your Comment

Posted by 11588 on December 13, 2018 #159373

Thank you Khaled, for this brilliant narrative. I'm sorry for your losses. May we return someday.
Posted by Bob on November 17, 2017 #158733

Hi,
Was Majdal a detention quarters in ww2?

Thankyou
Bob