Arab al-Zubayd

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Arab al-Zubayd
Arab al-Zubayd is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arab al-Zubayd
Arab al-Zubayd
Arabic عرب الزبيد
Also spelled 'Arab Zubeih[1]
Subdistrict Safad
Coordinates 33°4′44″N 35°34′03″E / 33.07889°N 35.56750°E / 33.07889; 35.56750Coordinates: 33°4′44″N 35°34′03″E / 33.07889°N 35.56750°E / 33.07889; 35.56750
Palestine grid 203/276
Population 890[2] (1945)
Date of depopulation April 20, 1948[1]
Cause(s) of depopulation Fear of being caught up in the fighting

Arab al-Zubayd was a Palestinian village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on April 20, 1948, when the villagers fled on hearing the intentions of The Palmach's First Battalion of Operation Yiftach.[3] It was located 15 km northeast of Safad, situated close to al-Barid River in the foothills of the Upper Galilee Mountains, which slope towards the al-Hula Plain. It was located just west of the al-Mutilla-Safad—Tiberias highway.[3]


In 1838, in the Ottoman era, ez-Zubeid was noted as an Arab tribe, within the Government of Safad.[4]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Arab Zubaid had a population of 257; 2 Christians and 255 Muslims,[5] increasing in the 1931 census, when it was counted together with Al-'Ulmaniyya, to 432; 5 Christians and 427 Muslims, in a total of 100 houses.[6]

The population, combined with that of Mallaha, came to 890 in 1945,[2] with a total of 2,168 dunams of land.[7] In 1944/45 a total of 1,761 dunums were used for cereals by the villagers,[8] while 20 dunams were classifies as built-up land.[9]

The population relied on many springs for drinking water, to the north and to the northeast linked to the al-Band River.[3] The economy was based on grain cultivation and in 1944–45 a total of 1,761 dunums was allocated to cereal farming.

1948 war and depopulation[edit]

Israeli historian Benny Morris has found evidence that its population feared the possibility of a Jewish attack and fled on 20 April at the very beginning of the operation, before the actual occupation of any villages in the area.[10] Nevertheless, in August 1948, Golani Brigade units were preparing to blow up the village after a complaint from the nearby Kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim who objected to their forces.[10] Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion denied responsibility, saying: "No permission was given by me or to any commander to destroy houses." The village was still destroyed and today all that remains of Arab al-Zubayed is rubble, buried under a thicket of woods, grass, and thorny plants.[10]

Israeli farmers today cultivate part of the land for agriculture.[10]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village #31. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 10
  3. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p.435.
  4. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 134
  5. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Safad, p. 42
  6. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 111
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 70
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 119
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 169
  10. ^ a b c d Khalidi, 1992, p.436.


External links[edit]