Khirbat al-Burj Before 1948
At 34.5 km distance from Haifa, the village stood on rolling terrain, on the central coastal plain, and it was known for its citrus crops. The nearby archeological site Tall al-Burayj contained the foundations of buildings and granite columns.
Occupation, Depopulation, and Israeli Settlements
Khirbat al-Burj was probably seized in the early weeks of the fighting. The large village of Qisarya (Caesarea), to the west of Khirbat al-Burj, was its nearest Arab community. In mid-February 1948, Qisarya was occupied and its people were expelled, during an operation designed to displace the Arab inhabitants of a large swath of coastal territory in the first months of the war. By the end of March 1948, the Zionist forces attacked many coastal communities between Tel Aviv and Zikhron Ya'aqov and driving them out in their entirety, sometimes through direct expulsion and sometimes through fear of attack [Benny Morris].
In 1922, the settlement of Binyamina was established near the village site, to the north.
The Village Today
Amidst grass and cactus plants, rubble is now covering much of the site, with only the walls of a large stone building still standing. The surrounding lands are used by Israeli farmers for citrus cultivation.
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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