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Jimzu is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic جمزو
Also spelled Gimzo
Subdistrict Ramle
Population 1,510[1][2] (1945)
Area 9,681[2] dunams
Date of depopulation 10 July 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Moshav Gimzo

Jimzu (Arabic: جمزو‎), also known as Gimzo (meaning "sycamore plantation"), was a Palestinian village, located three miles southeast of Lydda. Under the 1947 UN Partition Plan of Mandatory Palestine, Jimzu was to form part of the proposed Arab state.[4] During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the village was depopulated in a two-day assault by Israeli forces.

Under the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Jimzu's lands fell under the de facto governance of the newly created state of Israel. A year later, moshav Gimzo was established at the site of the former village and is now populated by 700 Israeli Jewish residents.


  • History 1
    • Biblical narrative 1.1
    • Early history 1.2
    • 1948 war 1.3
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5


Biblical narrative

Jimzu is identified with the ancient Gimzo, a city mentioned in the Bible as being in the plain of Judah whose villages were seized by the Philistines (as recorded in the 2 Chronicles 28:18).[5]

Early history

The town was home to the Tannaic sage Nahum of Gimzo.[6]

Jimzu, along with the whole of Palestine, came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire after it defeated the Mamluks at the Battle of Marj Dabiq in 1516. The village was incorporated into the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Ramla (al-Khalīl) under the Liwa of Gaza ("District of Gaza"). In 1596, it is recorded that the village of Jimzu had a population of 154, and that it paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley and fruits, as well as goats and beehives.[7]

Biblical scholar Edward Robinson passed through the village in 1838, and reported it to be "rather large", situated on an eminence, "to make quite a show at a distance". He also noted that the village had many subterranean magazines for storing grain.[8]

In the late 19th century, Jimzu was described as a village built of adobe bricks and situated on the side of a low hill, surrounded by cactus hedges and olive trees.[9]

The villagers of Jimzu, who were predominantly Muslim, maintained a mosque. An elementary school was established in the village in 1920, and by the mid-1940s it had 175 students.[10]

Most villagers worked in agriculture. In 1944/45, a total of 77 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas, while 5,577 dunums were allocated to cereals. 1,605 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, of which 1,400 dunums was for olives.[10][11]

1948 war

Jizmu was occupied by the Yiftach Brigade of the Haganah on July 10, 1948, in the first phase of Operation Dani.[1]

According to Benny Morris:
"The intention, from the first, was to depopulate [Jimzu and surrounding villages]. On 10 July, Yiftah Brigade HQ informed Dani HQ: Our forces are clearing the 'Innaba-Jimzu-Daniyal area and are torching everything that can be burned.'"[12]

The following day (11 July) Yiftach informed Dani Headquarters, that its forces had conquered Jimzu and Daniyal and were "busy clearing the villages and blowing up the houses [´oskot betihur hakfarim u´fitzutz habatim]"[13] All of Jimzu's inhabitants left as a result of the assault by Israeli forces. Its 434 homes were demolished on September 13, 1948.[1]

The settlement of Gimzo was established on village land in 1950.[14] Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the remains of Jimzu in 1992: "All that remains of the houses are stones, strewn over the site, and some crumbled walls. The site is overgrown with shrubs and thorny plants. Other kind of vegetation also grow on village land, including Christ´s-thorn trees, foxtail, cactuses, and some abandoned olive trees."[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Jizmu:District of al-Ramla". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  2. ^ a b Hadawi, 1970, p.67
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #230. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  4. ^ Map of UN Partition Plan
  5. ^ "Gimzo ... Glass". The Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  6. ^ Ben-Zion Rosenfeld (2009). Torah Centers and Rabbinic Activity in Palestine 70-400 C.e: History and Geographic Distribution. BRILL. p. 60.  
  7. ^ Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter and Kamal Abdulfattah (1977), Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. p. 152. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 386
  8. ^ Robinson, 1841, vol III, p. 56. Also cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 386.
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener: SWP II, 1881, p.297, Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 386
  10. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p.386
  11. ^ Hadawi, 1970, p.115
  12. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 435
  13. ^ Yiftah HQ∖Intelligence to Dani HQ, etc., 11 July 1948, IDFA 922∖75∖∖1237. Quoted in Morris, 2004, pp.435
  14. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 387


External links

  • Welcome to Jimzu
  • Carob, Fennel, and the Red Soil of Gimzo: Crafting Palestinian Identity
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