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al-Ruways is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic الرويس
Name meaning "The little hilltop", or "Headland"[1]
Also spelled al-Ruweis
Subdistrict Acre
Coordinates 32°51′50.01″N 35°10′40.46″E / 32.8638917°N 35.1779056°E / 32.8638917; 35.1779056Coordinates: 32°51′50.01″N 35°10′40.46″E / 32.8638917°N 35.1779056°E / 32.8638917; 35.1779056
Population 330 (1945)
Area 1,163[2] dunams

1.2 km²

Date of depopulation July 15-16, 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces

al-Ruways (Arabic: الرويس‎) was a Palestinian Arab village of 330 on a rocky hill located 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) southeast of Acre and south of al-Damun.[4]


Al-Ruways stood on the site of the Crusader town of Careblier.[4] In the 1253 John Aleman, Lord of Caesarea, sold several villages, including Al-Ruways, to the Hospitallers.[5] In 1266, a Crusader vanguard returning from a raid in Tiberias to Acre was ambushed by Mamluk forces based in Safad in Careblier.[6] Based on tradition, the people of the village professed to have blood relations with Husam ad-Din Abu al-Hija. Hussam ad-Din was a high-ranking officer in the Ayyubid army of Saladin.[7]

Ottoman era[edit]

Victor Guérin visited in 1875, and noted that the village contained "150 people at most, whose homes are located on a hill, amid gardens filled with fig, pomegranate and olive trees, and here and there are palm trees."[8]

In the late nineteenth century, al-Ruways was situated on open ground with olive groves to the north of the village. Its population of 400 was entirely Muslim.[9]

British Mandate era[edit]

Under the British Mandate of Palestine in the early twentieth century, al-Ruways was one of the smallest villages in the District of Acre. In the 1922 census of Palestine Al Ruwais had a population of 154; all Muslims,[10] increasing in the 1931 census to 217, still all Muslims,in a total of 44 houses.[11] and consisting of two quarters.

The village had a mosque, its children attended school in nearby al-Damun. The villagers drinking water came from domestic wells, and they primarily grew wheat, corn, sesame, watermelons, and olives.[4] In 1945 the population of al-Ruways was 330, all Arabs, who owned 1,163 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[2] 222 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 844 used for cereals,[12] while 15 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[13]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

On July 18, 1948, two days after Nazareth was occupied by Israel's Seventh Brigade in Operation Dekel, some units advanced into the Western Galilee and captured a number of Arab villages, one of which was al-Ruways. The inhabitants fled after bombardment and the fall of major neighboring towns (Shefa-'Amr and Nazareth).[14][15] According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, "the site is deserted. The debris of old wells and cement roofs is strewn of over the site, which is otherwise covered by a forest of eucalyptus trees and cactus."[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 115
  2. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 41
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p xvii village #91. Also gives the cause of depopulation.
  4. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p.28.
  5. ^ Delaville Le Roulx, 1883, p. 184; cited in Clermont-Ganneau, 1888, pp. 309 -310; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 319, No. 1210
  6. ^ Bronstein, 2005, p. 46
  7. ^ Benvenisti, 2000, p.195.
  8. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 431
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP, Vol. I, p.271. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 28
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 37
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 102
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 81
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 131
  14. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p.29.
  15. ^ Morris, 2004, pp.421-423.


External links[edit]