al-Masmiyya al-Kabira before 1948
The village on the southern coastal plain was bordered by a wadi to the north, 41 km northeast of Gaza. It was located at a major road junction to the city of Al Majdal in the southwest' al Ramla to the northeast and the Jerusalem –Jaffa highway al-Masmiyya was mentioned by the Syrian Sufi traveler Mustafa al-Bakri al-Siddiqi who journeyed in the region in the mid –eighteens century. The adjectival al-Kabira (major) was later added to the village's name to distinguish it from its twin village al-Masmiyya al-Saghira (minor) which was established about a century ago.
In 1934 the village had 1756 inhabitants living in 354 houses, in 1945 the number had increased to.