District: Bir-a-Saba (Beer Sheva)

Population 1948: 50

Occupation date: 03/05/1948

Occupying unit: Yiftah Brigade,3rd battalion

Jewish settlements on village/town land before 1948: None

Jewish settlements on village/town land after 1948: Urim


The village, 27 km west from Beersheba, was located in the middle of a wide plain. It was linked by secondary roads to Beersheba and to Gaza, 22 km to the north.

A "small scale battle" was reported in the vicinity of the village by the New York Times as early as 26 December 1947, when a Zionist patrol clashed with local residents. A large area around al-'Imara was seized by the Israeli army during the second truce of the war, some time between the end of September and the first days of October 1948. The Yiftach Brigade's Third Battalion mounted two "clearing" operations in this period in violation of the truce agreement, according to Israeli historian Benny Morris. Morris does not record wether al-'Imara itself was occupied at this time, but the Brigade headquarters reported that "all the Arabs were expelled" from the area, and all their livestocks confiscated and wells blown up. By the end of 1948, the village was firmly in Israeli hands. At the beginning of January 1949, the Golani Brigade had a base in and around the village and used it as a launching pad for a failed operation aimed at occupying the village of Rafah in the Gaza strip, where the Egyptian headquarter was located.

The settlement of Urim was built on village land about 1 km south of the site in 1948.
The village site has been completely built over by the kibbutz of Urim. Although the kibbutz was established in 1946 near the village of al-'Imara, during the war of 1948 it was moved to the site of the former British police station. About 2 km southeast of the current kibbutz there are remains of several stone structures. These were houses that belonged to Bedouin families before 1948 and were not considered part of al-'Imara.