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For the ancient Egyptian official see Amka (official)
Amka is located in Israel
Coordinates: 32°58′46″N 35°9′48″E / 32.97944°N 35.16333°E / 32.97944; 35.16333Coordinates: 32°58′46″N 35°9′48″E / 32.97944°N 35.16333°E / 32.97944; 35.16333
District Northern
Council Matte Asher
Region Western Galilee
Founded 1949
Founded by Yemenite Jewish immigrants
Population (2011) 597[1]

Amka or Amqa (Hebrew: עַמְקָה Arabic: عمقا‎) is a moshav in the Matte Asher Regional Council of Israel's North District, near Acre. The name Amka is thought to preserve that of Beth Ha-Emek, a city mentioned in Joshua 19:27. The location of the Jewish village roughly corresponds the former Palestinian Arab village, depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Yemenite Jews, who arrived from the southern Arab country of Yemen, founded the village's successor Amka in 1949.


Ancient history[edit]

The name Amka is thought to preserve that of Beth Ha-Emek, a city mentioned in Joshua 19:27 as part of the allotment of the Tribe of Asher.[2] During the Roman period, the village located at the same site was called Kefar Amqa.[3] In the Byzantine period the location was probably identified with the village of "Amico".[citation needed]

During the Crusades[edit]

During the Crusader period, it was referred to as Amca.[3] In 1283, 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).[4]

Ottoman period[edit]

In 1596, 'Amqa was a village in the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Akka under the liwa' (district) of Safad, with a population of 215.[5] It paid taxes on a number of crops, such as wheat, barley, olives, cotton and fruit, and on other types of produce, such as goats and beehives.[5]

In the early 18th century the village was under control of Shaykh Najm. He had an agreement to sell the cotton from this and other villages under his control exclusively to the Dutch trader Paul Maashook. In return, Maashook would pay the "miri" tax normally payable by the village shaykhs.[6] The Arab traveller al-Bakri al-Siddiqi, who toured the area in the mid-18th century, said that he prayed in the village after visiting the citadel of Atlit.[3] In 1776 the village was used as a base by Ahmad Jazzar Pasha to crush a revolt led by Ali, one of the sons of Zahir al-Umar.[7]

In the late 19th century, the village was described as being built of stone, situated on a slight rise in a valley, surrounded by olive and fig trees, and arable land. There were an estimated 300 Druzes living there.[8] Later, the residents were described as Muslims who maintained a village mosque. In 1887, the Ottoman authorities built a school in ´Amqa.[3]

During the British Mandate[edit]

Arabic عمقا
Also spelled 'Amqa
Subdistrict Acre
Population 1,240[3][9] (1945)
Area 6,060[3][9] dunams

6.1 km²

Date of depopulation 10–11 July 1948[10]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Amka[11]
Further information: 1948 Palestinian exodus

At the time of the 1931 census, Amqa had 212 occupied houses and a population of 895 Muslims.[12] The population of Amqa in 1945 was 1,240 people and the total land area of the village was over 6,000 dunums (1,500 acres).

Depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war,[13][14] all that remains of the Arab village structures are an elementary school for boys, founded under Ottoman rule in 1887 and one mosque.

The majority of the surviving Arab buildings of Amqa were completely destroyed by the Israeli army in the late 1950s on the orders of the Israeli government.[3][15][16] The mosque and a schoolroom now used as a warehouse, are the only surviving buildings.[3][17]

Within Israel[edit]

The village was captured by Israel's 7th Brigade on July 16, 1948 during Operation Dekel. It was largely destroyed, with the exception of its school and its mosque, and most of its inhabitants were expelled, with the exception of its former Druze inhabitants who still live nearby. Some of the inhabitants remained in Israel as present absentees.[18] On 1 March 1949 a UN observer reported villagers from 'Amqa amongst a large group of people expelled by the Israeli Army which arrived at Salim in the West Bank. He also noted other villagers from 'Amqa in a group expelled on 26 March.[19] In February 1950, the village was declared a closed area.[20] The Arab population remained under Martial Law until 1966.

A group of Yemenite Jewish immigrants were settled in Amka in 1949.[citation needed]

Archeological sites[edit]

Three khirbats ("archaeological ruins") lay within Amka's vicinity and contain the foundations of buildings, well-chiseled building stones, presses, and a cistern. During archaeological searches of the area remnants of a Byzantine church were discovered but due to the destruction of the village no foundations could be established.[21][22][23]

The Amka mosque was inspected by Petersen in 1991. The date of the mosque construction is not known, but it bears a general similarity to the nearby mosque of Al-Ghabisiyya, and is probably of a similar age, i.e. early 19th century.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Locality File" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ Ringgren, 2000, p. 204.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Khalidi, 1992, p.4
  4. ^ Dan Barag (1979), A new source concerning the ultimate borders of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, Israel Exploration Journal 29: 197–217. 
  5. ^ a b Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter and Kamal Abdulfattah (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. p. 192. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 4
  6. ^ Cohen, 1973, p.12. Cited in Petersen, 2001, p. 93.
  7. ^ Petersen, 2001, p. 93. Cohen, 1973, p. 94.
  8. ^ C. R. Conder and H. H. Kitchener (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine I. London: The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. p. 145. 
  9. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 40
  10. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xvii, village #85. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  11. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xxii, Settlement #150.
  12. ^ E. Mills, ed. (1932), Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas, Jerusalem: Government of Palestine, p. 99 
  13. ^ Nur-eldeen Masalha, ed. (2005). Catastrophe remembered: Palestine, Israel and the internal refugees. Zed Books. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-84277-623-0. 
  14. ^ Khalidi (1992), p 5
  15. ^ Ellenblum, 2003 p.177
  16. ^ Torstrick Rebecca L. (2000) The Limits of Coexistence: Identity Politics in Israel University of Michigan Press, ISBN 0-472-11124-8 p 180
  17. ^ a b Petersen, 2001, p. 93
  18. ^ Charles S. Kamen (1987). "After the Catastrophe I: The Arabs in Israel, 1948-51". Middle Eastern Studies 23: 453–495. doi:10.1080/00263208708700721. ; Sabri Jiryis (1973). "The Legal Structure for the Expropriation and Absorption of Arab Lands in Israel". Journal of Palestine Studies 2: 82–104. doi:10.1525/jps.1973.2.4.00p0099c. 
  19. ^ Morris, Benny (1993) Israel's Border Wars, 1949 - 1956. Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation, and the Countdown to the Suez War. Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-827850-0. pp.146.147
  20. ^ S. Jiryis (1976). The land question in Israel. New York and London: Monthly Review Press. p. 90. ISBN 0-85345-377-2. 
  21. ^ Ellenblum, 2003 p.178
  22. ^ The War for Palestine (second Edition 2007) Rogan and Shlaim Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0-521-87598-1 p 66
  23. ^ Khoury, Elias (2007) Gate of the Sun: Bab Al-Shams Translated by Humphrey Davies Macmillan, ISBN 0-312-42670-4 p 308


External links and references[edit]

  • 3amqa, Dr. Moslih Kanaaneh