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1931:       755

1944/45: 1090


al-Jish Before 1948


The village is located on the Roman Site Gischala.  According to “el-Jish Website”, this village is known for its several names through history.  The Romans  called it Jiscala, while the Jews named it Goosh Halav for it is being built over a lime rocky lump. Its Arabic name, according to the above source, is also derived from the Hebrew source which refers to the rocky hill on which it is located. in Biladuna Filastin says that the Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi mentions the word al-Jish in Mu’jam al-Buldan .  Its meaning  is “al-rabiya” (hill). Several places are called by this name.  One of them is a village between Tyre and Tiberes…Then he mentions the places related to Jish in Saudi Arabia.  Al-Jish is also a village in al-Hasa region in Sa’udi Arabia.  Its population now is around 3000 peoples.  It is evident that the word al-Jish has its roots in Arab lexicography and geography and not necessarily derived from a foreign source. (See Jish in Arabic dictionaries).  The European Sources mentions it by the name Gush Halav V. Iesce.  The village is located 13 kms to the North West of Safad.  Al-Maqdisi, the author of Ahsan al-Taqasim in the tenth century AD mentioned this village saying: al-Jish is a village located at the highway between Damascus and Tiberes and between the latter and Tyre.



The village was conquered in 29/10/1948 during “ Operation Hiram”.  Approximately, half of the population was deported to Lebanon.  Most of them were Muslims.  Issa Nakhleh, in Encyclopedia of Palestine Problem quotes Michael Palumbo:

In the village of al-Jish in Safad district, the thievery was particularly vicious.  Two days after the village was captured, Israeli soldiers stole money,jewellery,and other valuables from several homes.  An Arab member of the Knest later noted “ when the people who were robbed insisted on being given receipts, they were taken to a remote place and shot dead.”  The village complained to the local commander who had the bodies brought back to the village. “ The fingure of one of the dead had been cut off to remove a ring”  In  a conversation with Ben Gurion ,one of the Prime Minister’s most trusted military advisors, Fred Grunish, revealed that among the atrocities he had observed was the “horror of seizure of the Arab village Jish including the massacre of civilians.”


The Village Today

Approximately, half of the residents of al-Jish were deported in 1948.  Their homes and lands were controlled by the Israeli army.  People from the village of Kafr Bir’im were settled in al-Jish  About 50% of the residents of al-Jish today  are inner refugees from the villages : Kafr Bir’im ,Qaddita, Sa’sa’ and ‘Akbara.


For more information visit the website of al-Jish in three languages: Arabic, Hebrew and English:



Issa Nakhleh. Encyclopedia of Palestine. Vol.1

Mustafa Murad al-Dabbagh. Biladuna Filastin. Vol.6, section 2