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'Akbara is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic عكبرة
District Safad
Coordinates 32°56′22.07″N 35°29′57.62″E / 32.9394639°N 35.4993389°E / 32.9394639; 35.4993389Coordinates: 32°56′22.07″N 35°29′57.62″E / 32.9394639°N 35.4993389°E / 32.9394639; 35.4993389
Population 390 (1945)
Date of depopulation 10 May 1948[1]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Jewish forces

'Akbara (Arabic: عكبرة‎) was a Palestinian village, located 2.5 kilometres south of Safad, which was depopulated in 1948.



The village of 'Akbara was situated 2.5 km south of Safad, along the two sides of a deep wadi that ran north-south. Southeast of the village lay Khirbat al-Uqayba, identified as the Roman village Achabare, or Acchabaron. This khirba was a populated village as late as 1904.[2]


The nearby khirba was excavated during the Mandate period, and was shown to contain remains such as building foundations, hewn stones, and wine presses.[3]

By the late nineteenth century, the village of 'Akbara was described as a village built of stone and mud with about 90 inhabitants who cultivated olive and fig trees.[4]

During the British Mandate of Palestine period the village houses were made of masonry. The villagers were predominantly Muslim. In 1944 they planted a total of 2,222 dunums in cereals, while 199 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[5]

1948 War

During the siege of Safad 'Akbara was targeted for occupation in line with Plan D.[6] The Hagana attack was launched on 9 May and completed by the Palmach first battalion. It was found that many of the villagers had fled due to news of Deir Yassin and 'Ein al Zeitun, the village was then blown up and destroyed.[1]

25 May 1948, during Operation Yiftah, under the command of Yigal Allon, Galilee was cleared of its Palestinian Arab population.[7] The Palmach's First Battalion.[8] Following the 25 May exodus of al-Khisas the last 55 villagers who had remained in their homes for just over a year were 'transferred' by Israeli forces despite having good relations and collaborating with Jewish settlements in the area.[9] During the night of 5/6 June 1949, the village of al-Khisas was surrounded by trucks and the villagers were forced into the trucks ’with kicks, curses and maltreatment,’ in the words of a Mapam Knesset member, Elizer Peri, quoted by Morris: "The remaining villagers said that they had been ’forced with their hands to destroy their dwellings,’ and had been treated like ’cattle.’ They were then dumped on a bare, sun-scorched hillside near the village of ’Akbara [by then an abandoned Palestinian Arab village] where they were left ’wandering in the wilderness, thirsty and hungry.’ They lived there under inhuman conditions for years afterwards," along with the inhabitants of at least two other villages (Qaddita and al-Ja'una) expelled in similar circumstances.[10] The expelees remained at ’Akbara for eighteen years until agreeing to resettlement in Wadi Hamam.[9]


Salman Abu-Sitta, author of the Atlas of Palestine,[11] estimated that the number of Palestinian refugees from 'Akbara in 1998 was 1,852 people.[12]

Of what remains of 'Akbara's built structures today, Walid Khalidi writes that, "The original inhabitants of the village were replaced by "internal" refugees from Qaddita villages several kilometers north of Safad. Since 1980, however, these refugees have been gradually relocated to the nearby, planned village of 'Akbara, 0.5 km west of the old village site. As a precondition of the relocation, each family was required to demolish its home in the former village. Today, fifteen of the old houses still stand on the site, in addition to the school. The new village of 'Akbara was placed under the administration of the city of Safad in 1977"[12][13]

See also


  1. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p 224
  2. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 430.
  3. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 431
  4. ^ Conder, Claude Reignier and H.H. Kitchener: The Survey of Western Palestine. London:Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1881, I, p.196. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 430.
  5. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p. 430-431
  6. ^ Morris, 2004, p 223
  7. ^ Morris 2004, p. 248
  8. ^ Morris 2004 Ibid p 250
  9. ^ a b Benvenisti, 2002, p 206-p.207
  10. ^ Morris, 2004, pp 511-512
  11. ^ Bibliography and References, Palestine Remembered, 25 June 2007, archived from the original on 2009-04-18, http://www.webcitation.org/5g8JtUMYH, retrieved 2007-12-20 
  12. ^ a b Welcome to 'Akbara, Palestine Remembered, archived from the original on 2009-04-18, http://www.webcitation.org/5g8Jtrpex, retrieved 2007-12-20 
  13. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p xix


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