|Name meaning||The Bridge (in Turkish)|
Cabra (Crusader name)
|Date of depopulation||5, 21 May 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Fear of being caught up in the fighting|
|Secondary cause||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Kabri, Ga'aton, Me'ona, Ein Ya'akov, Ma'alot|
Al-Kabri (Arabic: الكابري) was a Palestinian Arab town in the Galilee located 12.5 kilometers (7.8 mi) northeast of Acre. It was captured by the Jewish Forces 21 May 1948, a week after the State of Israel was declared. In 1945, it had a population of 1,520 and a total area cultivated of 20,617 dunams. It is near the site of Tel Kabri.
Al-Kabri was known as "Cabra" under Crusader rule in the twelfth century. It is mentioned by Arab geographer al-Maqrizi as "al-Kabira" in the early fifteenth century, by now under Mamluk rule. Under the name Al-Kabrah, it was mentioned as part of the domain of the Crusaders during the hudna between the Crusaders based in Acre and the Mamluk sultan al-Mansur (Qalawun) in 1283. In 1291, Mamluk sultan al-Ashraf Khalil allocated the town's income to a charitable organization in Cairo.
Al-Kabri was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and by 1596 it was part of nahiya (subdistrict) of Akka under the liwa' (district) of Safad with an all-Muslim population of 10 households. Taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, cotton, occasional revenues, beehives and/or goats. In Pierre Jacotin´s map from 1799 the village was called Kabli.
The place was well known for its springs, including Ayn Mafshuh, Ayn Fawwar, Ayn al-'Asal, and Ayn Kabri. The number of springs made al-Kabri the main supplier of water in the District of Acre. Ancient aquifers supplied water from the springs to Acre, and two additional canals were built by Jezzar Pasha in 1800, and Sulayman Pasha in 1814.
In 1875, the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village: "Many of the houses are built of good materials, which seem ancient. They are constructed of stones finely cut, mixed with simple rubble, perfectly jointed by means of little stones so placed as to fill up spaces and to make the whole compact. The site of an ancient church, now completely destroyed, is still, to a certain extent, to be traced. Many columns have been removed from it, and numbers of cut stones of medium size. Above the village, the ruins of houses prove that the place was once much more populous than now."
"At twenty-five minutes walk from El Kabry is a spring called Neba Fawara. Formerly received in a basin, of which the foundations only are now visible, it runs away in a considerable stream, which waters several gardens. Enormous fig-trees show the extraordinary fruitfulness of the soil. A little farther I pass along arcades entirely covered with high bushes, which form part of the aqueduct of El Kabry. The ground rises here, so that the canal supported by these arcades is at the level of the ground, then it disappears altogether, reappearing again, according to the level of the ground. El Kabry is in a very advantageous position, thanks to its precious springs, which must always have caused the foundation of a group, more or less considerable, of houses. The name of Kabry shows that it was once called Gobara, a name given by Josephus to a place in another part of Galilee. It contains two abundant springs; one is received in a reservoir similar to that of Et Tell, and from there, by an opening made expressly, the water runs off in a cascade to turn mills and water gardens. The second spring gushes from the bottom of a kind of vaulted cave, into which one descends by steps, and it feeds the aqueduct, which, sometimes subterranean, sometimes on the level of the ground, sometimes borne in arcades, supplies Akka with water. Reconstructed by Jezzar Pasha at the end of the last century, this aqueduct has succeeded one much older, of which traces yet remain.
Besides these two springs there is a third not far off, called Ain Jatun, of equal importance, which fertilises the proverbially fruitful territory of Kabry."
In 1881 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village as a "village built of stone, containing about 400 Moslems, situated on the edge of the plain, with gardens and olives, figs and mulberries, apples and pomegranates; there is a large spring and birket here, at which the aqueduct conveying water to 'Akka commences."
British Mandate of Palestine
During this period, Al-Kabri's houses were built of stone, mud, and reinforced concrete. The village contained a mosque and a boys' elementary school. Agriculture was the base of the economy with villagers cultivating olives, citrus, and bananas and engaged in animal husbandry, including raising cattle.
The population grew to 1,530 in 1945, still all Muslim. Together with the nearby Tarshiha, the villages had 47,428 dunums of land at this time. Of this, a total of 743 dunums of land in the two villages was used for citrus and bananas, 5,301 were plantation and irrigable land, 14,123 for cereals, while 252 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
1948 and aftermath
Kabri was first badly shaken by the Palmah raid on the village on the night 31 January/1 February 1948, in which the house of the main al-Husayni-affiliated notable, Fares Sirhan, was demolished. After this, Siran and his family fled to Lebanon.
In April 1948, the Haganah prepared an initial blueprint for an operation called "Ehud", which provided for attacks on Kabri, al Nahar, al-Bassa and Zib for "the destruction of the gangs [and] the menfolk, [and] the destruction of property.
According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, the remaining structures on the village land in 1992 were "crumbled walls and stone rubble, overgrown with thorns, weeds, and bushes. The settlement of Kabri uses the land adjacent to the site for agriculture and as a pasture."
- Jacotin, 1826. See also Siege of Acre (1799)
- Palmer, 1881, p. 43
- Morris, 2004, p. xvii, village #81. Also gives causes of depopulation
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 19
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 20: Citrus, bananas, cereals, fruit and olive trees
- Dan Barag (1979). "A new source concerning the ultimate borders of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem". Israel Exploration Journal 29. pp. 197–217.
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 193
- Karmon, 1960, p. 160
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 20
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 156
- Guérin, 1880, p. 32 -33, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 169
- Guérin, 1880, p. 32 -33, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 146
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 146. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, pp. 19-20
- Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 36
- Mills, 1932, p. 101
- Village Statistics The Palestine Government, April 1945, p. 3
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 41
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 81
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 131
- Morris, 2004, p. 253
- Benvenisti, 2000, p.138
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 20. Gives the date as 28 March and that the New York Times reported 49 Jews dead and six Arabs, and that the convoy consisted of five trucks and an armored car
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 20, quoting Nazzal, 1978, pp. 58-63
- Abu-‘Uqsa, Hanaa (2007): El-Kabri Final Report, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, No. 119.
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Benveniśtî, Mêrôn (2000). Sacred landscape: the buried history of the Holy Land since 1948. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-23422-2.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 1. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. (possibly Kabartha p. 154 )
- Dauphin, Claudine (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations. BAR International Series 726 (in French). III : Catalogue. Oxford: Archeopress. ( p. 634)
- Guérin, Victor (1880). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine.. 3: Galilee, pt. 2.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
- Karmon, Y, (1960), An analysis of Jacotin's map of Palestine, IEJ, 10, pp. 155–173 and 244-153.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00967-7.
- Nazzal, Nafez (1974): The Zionist occupation of western Galilee, 1948, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 3, No. 3, 58-76.
- Nazzal, Nafez (1978): The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee 1948, The Institute for Palestine Studies,
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Porat, Leea (2006): Akko, the aqueduct, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, No. 118.
- Smithline, Howard (2004): El-Kabri, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, No. 116.
- Smithline, Howard (2007): Tel Kabri Final Report, Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel, No. 119.
- Welcome to al-Kabri Palestine Remembered.
- SWP map III, IAA
- SWP map 3, Wikimedia commons
- Al-Kabri at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
- Al-Kabri photos, from Dr. Moslih Kanaaneh