Dayr al-Dubban Before 1948
The village stood at a distance of 26 km from Hebron, on a sloping hill at the end of the western foothills of the Hebron Mountains. It was connected to highways leading to Hebron, al-Ramla, Gaza, and Jerusalem through secondary roads also linking it to the neighbouring villages of 'Ajjur and Tall al-Safi. Probably derived from the word al-dhubban (flies), the name of the village suggests that the ancient inhabitants of the village might have worshipped Ba'l Zabub ('lord of flies'), the chief Canaanite deity in 'Aqrun (south of al-Ramla).
The inhabitants of Dayr al-Dubban, exclusively Muslim, practiced rainfed agriculture and animal husbandry, and cultivated two grain crops annually. Fig trees, grapes, and vegetables were planted on the land immediately adjacent to the site. Dayr al-Dubban was built in an area rich in archeological sites, containing the foundations of buildings, mosaic floors, burial places, and rock-hewn presses.
Occupation and Depopulation
Dayr al-Dubban was captured on 23-24 October 1948 [Benny Morris], as a result of the northwards push of the Operation Yo'av during which the Israeli army's Giv'ati Brigade moved north and east towards Hebron, while other forces were pushing southwards in the direction of Gaza and the Negev. According to Morris, most of the villagers of Hebron area had fled prior to the arrival of the Israeli troops, but some of the remaining ones were expelled.
The Village Today
On the village's site overgrown with thorny plants, foxtails, mallow, a few cactuses and olive trees, its old roads remain easily identifiable. Remnants of stone terraces and a cave are also testifying to what used to be Dayr al- Dubban.
Source: al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.
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