Marus Before 1948
The village was situated on a slope that descended from the eastern Upper Galilee Mountains and overlooked the al-Hula Plain to the east, Two wadis passed near the village, about 025 km to the north and approximately 0.5 km to the southwest A spring, ‘Ayn Abu Zamla (, flowed about 0.75 km south of it. In 1596, Marus was a village in the nahiya of Jira (liwa’ of Safad) with a population of 176. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, and fruits, as well as on other types of produce, such as goats. Under the Mandate, Marus was classified as a hamlet (by the Palestine Index Gazeueer) and its entire population was Muslim. Grain cultivation and animal husbandry represented the chief sources of livelihood for the villagers. Figs as well as other fruits were also cultivated mainly to the east, northeast, and north of the site. In 1944/45 a total of 903 dununis was planted in cereals and 108 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Recent excavations at Marus have focused on what appears to have been a synagogue, which functioned as such from the seventh through the twelfth centuries, after which it was abandoned. In the fourteenth century the building was redesigned for use as a dwelling. Columns, tombs carved in rock, presses, and a cave with a carved stone entrance have been found at the site.
Occupation and Depopulation
Israeli military intelligence reports a flight of villagers from Marus on 28 May 1948. This coincided with the departure of many villagers from the Galilee panhandle, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris, who says that Israeli forces prompted the exodus by carrying out scattered ground and mortar attacks. Palmach commander Yigal Allon had also set in motion a campaign of psychological warfare during the same period to induce the villagers of the entire area to leave. But the village was not occupied until the last days of the war, during the Israeli army’s Operation Hiram (see ‘Arab al-Samniyya, Acre District), when the whole of Upper Galilee was seized by Israeli forces. Any villagers remaining in Marus were probably expelled by the Sheva’ Brigade on 30 October, towards the end of the operation.
Israeli Settlements on Village Lands
There are no Israeli settlements on village land.
The Village Today
The site contains some olive and fig trees as well as stones from ruined homes. The surrounding land is used for grazing.
Source: al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.