Sataf (Arabic: صطاف, Hebrew: סטף) was a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem Subdistrict depopulated during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. It was located 10 km west of Jerusalem, with Sorek Valley (Arabic: Wadi as-Sarar) bordering to the east.
Remains of Sataf village
|Name meaning||from a personal name|
|Date of depopulation||July 13–14, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
Two springs, Ein Sataf and Ein Bikura flow from the site into the riverbed below.
A monastery located across the valley from Sataf, i.e. south of Wadi as-Sarar, known by local Arabs as Ein el-Habis (the "Spring of the Hermitage"), is officially called Monastery of Saint John in the Wilderness.
Today it is a tourist site showcasing ancient agricultural techniques used in the Jerusalem Mountains.
Sataf was noted in the Ottoman tax records of 1525-1526 and 1538-1539, as being located in the Sanjak of Al-Quds. In 1838 it was described as a Muslim village, located in the Beni Hasan district, west of Jerusalem.
In 1863, Victor Guérin found a village of one hundred and eighty people. He further noted that their houses were standing on the slopes of a mountain, and that the mountainside was covered by successive terraces. An Ottoman village list from about 1870 counted 38 houses and a population of 115, whereby only men were counted.
In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Setaf as "a village of moderate size, of stone houses, perched on the steep side of a valley. It has a spring lower down, on the north."
In 1896 the population of Sataf was estimated to be about 180 persons.
British Mandate periodEdit
By the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Sataf had a population of 329; 321 Muslims and 8 Christians. All the Christians were Roman Catholic. The 1931 census lists 381 inhabitants; 379 Muslim and 2 Christian, in a total of 101 houses.
In the 1945 statistics the population of Sataf was 540, all Muslims, and the total land area was 3,775 dunams, according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 928 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 465 for cereals, while 22 dunams were built-up land.
Sataf and the surrounding area became part of the newly created State of Israel. A short time after the 1948 War, a small group of Jewish immigrants from North Africa settled for a few months in the village area. Subsequently the IDF's Unit 101 and paratroopers used it for training purposes.
In the 1980s the Jewish National Fund began the restoration of ancient agricultural terraces, and the area around the springs has been turned into a tourist site. A forest around the site was also planted by the Jewish National Fund.
In 1992, Sataf was described as follows: "Many half-destroyed walls still stand, and some still have arched doorways. The walls of a few houses with collapsed roofs are almost intact....The area around the village spring, which is located to the east next to the ruins of a rectangular stone house, has been turned into an Israeli tourist site. A Jewish family has settled on the west side of the village, and have fenced in some of the village area."
- Palmer, 1881, p. 326
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 25
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 58
- Morris, 2004, p. xx, village #354. Also gives cause of depopulation
- Adar, Yael. "Ancient Agriculture: Sataf - A Reconstruction". Gems in Israel. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
- Toledano, 1984, pp. 280, 298. Toledano gives its location as 31°46′20″N 35°07′25″E
- Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 123
- Guérin, 1869, pp. 3-4
- Socin, 1879, p. 160 also noted it was located in the Beni Hasan District
- Hartmann, 1883, p. 122, noted 40 houses
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 22
- Schick, 1896, p. 125
- Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 14
- Barron, 1923, Table XVI, p. 45
- Mills, 1932, p. 43
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 104
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 154
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 317
- Sataf from the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
- Barron, J.B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Canaan, T. (1927). Mohammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine. London: Luzac & Co. (p. 96)
- Conder, C.R.; Kitchener, H.H. (1883). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. 3. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945.
- Guérin, V. (1869). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 1: Judee, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
- Hadawi, S. (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Hartmann, M. (1883). "Die Ortschaftenliste des Liwa Jerusalem in dem türkischen Staatskalender für Syrien auf das Jahr 1288 der Flucht (1871)". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 6: 102–149.
- Khalidi, W. (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, B. (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Palmer, E.H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Robinson, E.; Smith, E. (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838. 3. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- Schick, C. (1896). "Zur Einwohnerzahl des Bezirks Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 19: 120–127.
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 2: 135–163.
- Toledano, E. (1984). "The Sanjaq of Jerusalem in the Sixteenth Century: Aspects of Topography and Population". Archivum Ottomanicum. 9: 279–319.