Al-Butayha

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Al-Butayha
Al-Butayha is located in Mandatory Palestine
Al-Butayha
Al-Butayha
Arabic البطيحه
Subdistrict Safad
Coordinates 32°54′58.57″N 35°37′22.36″E / 32.9162694°N 35.6228778°E / 32.9162694; 35.6228778Coordinates: 32°54′58.57″N 35°37′22.36″E / 32.9162694°N 35.6228778°E / 32.9162694; 35.6228778
Palestine grid 208/257
Population 650 (1945)
Area 16690 dunams
Date of depopulation May 4, 1948

Al-Butayha (Arabic: لبطيحه ‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on May 4, 1948 by the Palmach's First Battalion during Operation Matateh. It was located 13 km southeast of Safad, quarter of a mile east of the Jordan River, a little northeast of the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee. Many of the inhabitants were forced into Syria.

In 1945, the village had a population of 650.

History[edit]

Al-Butayha was situated in a hilly area next to the border with Syria, approximately 0.25 km east of the Jordan River and 2 km from Lake Tiberias. The name means "marshland" in Arabic, in reference to the vast stretch of land in the area. In 1459 the village was visited by the Arab geographer al-Qalqashandi.[1] It was later classified as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer. By 1944/45 the village occupied an area of 16,690 dunums with 3,842 dunums allocated to cereal farming and 238 dunums under irrigation or used for orchards.[1]

On May 4, 1948, the village was attacked by Israeli forces of Haganah’s Operation Matateh (Broom), under Operation Yiftach, as part of a coordinated offensive to evacuate all Arab settlement from an area north of Lake Tiberias and west of the Jordan River. According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, this operation had an impact on the morale of the residents before the village itself was depopulated and the people of Al-Butayha and other nearby villages, numbering some 2000 in total, have fled to Syria across the border.[1]

Today[edit]

Today the village lands are occupied by the settlement of Almagor, which was established in 1961. A popular picnicking spot, Park ha-Yarden ("Jordan River Park"), is now located just 200 metres south of the site.[1] Today only black basalt walls of destroyed houses remain of the village of Al-Butayha, with many trees such as palms, olive, and tall eucalyptus trees growing in the area.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p.440

Bibliography[edit]

External link[edit]