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 Al-‘Abisiyya

 

Population   :

1931         : 123

 

Al-‘Abisiyya before 1948

 

The village stood on flat terrain in the northeastern section of al-Hula Plain, close to the Syrian border.  It was linked By secondary roads to neighboring villages.  In the late nineteenth century, Al-‘Abissiyya was a village built of adobe bricks and  had a population of about seventy. The villagers tilled the land and irrigated their crops from the numerous water sources around the village, especially the Banyas River. Drinking water was drawn from springs that flowed into the river. The houses were generally built close together but were less tightly-clustered on the eastern side of the village, where newer housing was constructed. (During the British Mandate, there was a general expansion of the village.)

The population was predominantly Muslim. Agriculture was the economic mainstay; the villagers grew fruit, including oranges, and vegetables on the far bank of the river, south and southwest of the village. In 1944/45 a total of 4 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 2,830 dunums were allocated to cereals; 6,390 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. Near al-’Abisiyya were the khirbas of Tall al-Sakhina, Tall al-Shari’a, and al-Shaykh Ghannam.

 

Occupation and Depopulation

 According to Israeli military intelligence, the villagers fled on 25 May 1948, partly as a result of a campaign of psychologi­cal warfare that the Israelis implemented in conjunction with Operation Yiftach (see Abil al-Qamh, Safad District). But the village may also have suffered a direct military assault, accord­ing to Israeli historian Benny Morris. One of the avowed aims of Operation Yiftach was to render the eastern Galilee and the panhandle empty of all its Palestinian residents. As early as 18 May, a neighboring Jewish settlement was planning to seize a large part of the lands of this village. The members of Kibbutz Sde Nechemya (Huliot) wrote to the head of the Agricultural Center “asking, somewhat shamefacedly, for 1,700 dunams of the lands of el ‘Abisiya.” 

 

Israeli Settlements on Village Lands

 Prior to 1948, three Jewish settlements were founded very close to the village site. The settlements of ‘Amir, built in 1939, and Sde Nechemya, built in 1940, are closer to the site than is the third settlement, Kefar Szold, but are on land that belonged to the village of al-Dawwara. Kefar Szold , established in 1942 on what was traditionally village land, is east of the site.

  

The Vifiage Today

 No trace of the village remains. The site is covered with grass, shrubs, and a few scattered trees. The lands around the site are cultivated by the settlement of Kefar Szold.

Source(s):

al-Khalidi.  All That Remains

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