Historically, there was a battle between Jews and Muslims, where Jews had a control over water sources and springs and prevented Muslims to have an access to them.
At that time of need, Ali bin Abi Talib -a battle leader-dug the land with his sword which eventually came out with a spring. Nowadays, this spring is still running water, but recently covered for religious purpose.
This is where the Arab Jews of Khaybar used to have their cemetery. Now it's surrounded by a seige.
It goes back to 1400 years ago and older than that, when Jews used to live in the Arabian peninsula.
It looks about 500 m wide and located on a hill.
There are no signs or stones indicating any particular grave, but it's known to be a graveyard since then.
This palace used to be dwelled by Marhab, the head of Khaybar--the Jewish tribe. This tribe used to settle between Medina and Khaybar, so the town took their name. They were rich, gold and jewellery businessmen.
The palace is located above the Khaybar town. You should climb up around 10 min to get there.
It's closed now by the government for safety reasons, since it started to slide and slip.
Perched on a hill overlooking the oasis, the Khaybar Fortress is at least 1400 years old. Some of the earliest accounts of it came from the narrative of the Battle of Khaybar, when the Prophet Mohammed and his army invaded and conquered Khaybar. It was his nephew and son-in-law, Ali, who was able to unlock the gate of the fortress to allow the Moslem armies to finally conquer the fortress. Although this event took place in 629 AD, the fortress was likely built much earlier, but the exact date is unknown. It was rebuilt and reused thereafter, but many still refer to it as the Fortress of the Jews. Other fortresses are said to have existed around Khaybar, one for each of the Jewish tribes in the area, but traces of them seem to have disappeared over time. Although it is possible to get near the fortress, the area immediately surrounding it is fenced off, partly because the structure is deemed unsafe and partly because it is under archaeological study.
Abandoned some 40 years ago for more modern housing nearby, the traditional village of Khaybar is a fascinating ghost town. It is a frozen picture of a traditional Hijazi (i.e. western Arabian) village, albeit deserted. Hundreds of dwellings, constructed using the black basalt stone of nearby lava deposits and wooden beams and windows, seem to have been abruptly abandoned. The town is open for anyone to wander around its unpaved streets and squares. It is built on a slope that gently descends into the lush green oasis, which is dominated by the fortress. Although most intriguing to visit, the town is in a sad state of decay. Any other country would have developed the old town for tourism purposes, by opening a hotel, restaurants, markets, etc., but common sense is never normal under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
For more photos, take a look at the travelogue: "Buildings of Old Khaybar".
Khaybar's geographic situation, in the middle of a valley between mountains has graced it with natural wells that have been utilised for irrigation since ancient times. It is this oasis that has made Khaybar and indispensable stop along the incense trade route from Yemen to the Levant, which brought great prosperity to its inhabitants - other oases along the route included Yathrib (Medina) and Dedan (al-Ula). Although not as extensive as al-Ula's, Khaybar's oasis is also a producer of dates in the present day. Palm groves stretch around the old village and the new town of Khaybar.
Although not at all a tourist place, the modern town of Khaybar is unexpectedly pleasant. The motorway from Medina to Tabuk runs right through town where it turns into a well-kept tree-lined road, flanked manicured lawns, known as King Abdul Aziz Road. Surprisingly for a provincial town, Khaybar is dotted with a few beautiful modern sculptures, which give it a sophisticated feel, even if unreal! The town has no real centre and otherwise consists of modern unattractive houses scattered in the valley, but along its main thoroughfare all of the traveller's needs can be found, e.g. restaurants, groceries and petrol.
Surprisingly, the provincial town of Khaybar contains a number of sculptures of modern art as an attempt to beautify the town. This is something rather unexpected from a remote town in Arabia. There is also a fountain in the middle of a main roundabout that consists of many Arabian coffee pots (see second attached photo).