District: Ramla

Population 1948: 560

Occupation date: 1948-07-16 00:00:00

Jewish settlements on village/town land before 1948: None

Jewish settlements on village/town land after 1948: Moshav Kfar Ruth


Al-Burj (Arabic: البرج‎) was a Palestinian Arab village 14 km east of Ramle close to the highway to Ramallah, which was depopulated in 1948. Its name, "the tower", is believed to be derived from the crusader castle, Castle Arnold, built on the site. 

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Al Burj had a population of 344; all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census to 370, still all Muslims, in a total of 92 houses.

In 1945, the village had a population of 480 Muslims, with a total land area of 4,708 dunams.6 dunams were either irrigated or used for orchards, 2,631 were used for cereals, while 12 dunams were built-up (urban) areas.

An elementary school for boys was completed in 1947 with around 35 pupils.

Al-Burj was occupied by the Israeli Army on July 15, 1948, during the second phase of Operation Dani. The Arab Legion counterattacked the following day with two infantry platoons and ten armoured cars but were forced to retreat. According to the Haganah 30 Arabs were killed and four armoured vehicles captured with 3 Israelis killed. Aref al-Aref records around 13 Legionaires killed.

In 1992 the village site was described: "Only one crumbled house remains on the hilltop. Cactuses and wild plants grow on the site. The nearby settlements uses the village for hothouse agriculture.

In 2002 a woman, Kawthar al-Amir, published a 64 page long book about Al-Burj. According to Rochelle Davis, the book is "innovatively styled for children, the descendants of the village who do not know about the village," and it is a "question and answer format, as a conversation between her and her granddaughter Bahiyya.