Lifta. The village’s located on the outskirts of Jerusalem between the Western entrance to the city and the neighborhood of Romema.
The Old Testament mentions the village as the border between the Israelite tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Byzantine and Roman Empire’s scriptures relate to the village as Nephtho, while it was called Clepsta by the Crusaders, whose remains of an ancient courtyard is still visible in the rear part of the complex.
Arab Muslims inhabited the village since the Ottoman era where it was part of Nahiya, a district under the Jerusalem’s province. Lifta hosted the battle where the Ottoman officer Ibrahim Pasha defeated a local rebel ruler. In 1917, after the Balfour declaration the village surrendered to the British Mandatory forces. However, the village eventually was destroyed and depopulated by the Yishuv militias, Haganah, Irgun and Lehi, during the Arab-Israeli war. Statistics from 2 years before show the population amounted to approximately 2.800
Palestinians, most of which were eventually displaced.
Accessing the ruins of what were once the houses and the stables used by the local population to produce olive oil, it’s possibile to notice that the buildings were later bombed from above, to prevent the inhabitants from further returning to the village, by breaking the roofs and the floors below, as the impact made the structures become inhabitable.
In 2011 a plan to demolish the village to build a luxury compound raised complaints and previous residents sent petitions to the Municipality as Lifta is the only palestinian village left, that still hasn’t been completely destroyed.
In 2017 it was declared Natural Reserve.
Currently, 55 out of 450 pre-1948 houses are still standing. Sometimes Palestinians come to visit their houses. Religious Jews visit the site to swim in the natural water spring.