District: Akka (Acre)
Population 1948: 1310
Occupation date: 30/10/1948
Occupying unit: Golani & Oded
Jewish settlements on village/town land after 1948: Hosen, Tzuriel
The village was situated on the tops of two hills that overlooked lower terrain on all sides except the north. It was on a highway that connected it to Safad, the coastal settlement of Nahariyya, and a number of villages. It was located 25 km northeast of Acre.
As units of the Gonalnu Brigade's First Battalion advanced on the southern front of Operation Hiram, they met units of the 'Oded Brigade moving eastwards at the Suhmata junction. At the same point, retreating units of the Arab Liberation Army narrowly escaped falling into Israeli hands on 30 October 1948, although their vehicles and equipment were captured by the Israelis, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris. However, according to the official Israeli military account in the History of the war of Independence, the village of Suhmata showed some resistance, “but it was occupied after being encircled by an infantry platoon.” No mention is made of the inhabitants. Some neighboring villages, however, were “punished” for their resistance by the expulsion of their people across the border to Lebanon.
By 27 May 1949 the village, which had been renamed Tzuri'el, was being readied for the arrival of Jewish immigrants. The main part of the settlement was northeast of the village site. In 1949 the settlement of Chosen was established on village land by Jewish immigrants from Romania.
The site is covered with debris and broken walls from fallen stone houses, all of which are scattered among the olive trees that grow there. A castle and a wall that were probably built by the Crusaders still stand. The castle is on an elevated spot on the eastern side of the site, and the wall enclosed the western quarter. The surrounding lands are partly forested and partly used as pasture.