Palestinian house in Aqir, post 1948
|Also spelled||Akir, Akkur|
|Date of depopulation||6 (??) May 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Kiryat Ekron, Mazkeret Batya Ganei Yohanan|
Until the early 20th century, Aqir was thought to lie at the site of the ancient Philistine city of Ekron, that has now been identified as Tel Mikne, 9 km to the south. The error seems rooted in antiquity; The Romans referred to the village as Accaron. In the 10th century, Al-Muqaddasi writes of Aqir (Ekron) as "A large village with a mosque. Its inhabitants are much given to good works. The bread here is not to be surpassed for quality. The village lies on the high road from Ar-Ramlah to Makka." Yakut called it Al Akir, and said it belonged to Ar Ramlah.
In 1596, Aqir (Amir) appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Ramla of the Liwa of Gaza. It had a population of 31 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, and other produce.
The scholar Edward Robinson passed by the village in 1838, and described it as being surrounded by "well-tilled gardens and fields of the richest soil". The village itself was described as being of "considerable size", built of bricks or adobe. In the 1870s, Aqir was described as "a mud village on low rising ground, with cactus hedges surrounding its gardens, and a well to the north."
Between 1941 and 1948, the RAF Aqir airfield was located nearby. In 1945, the village had a population of 2,480 with two elementary schools: one for boys, founded in 1921 which had an enrollment of 391 boys in 1945 and a second for girls, which had an enrollment of 46 girls in 1945. There were two mosques in the village.
1948 and afterward
The village was depopulated during the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on 6 May 1948 during Operation Barak by the Givati Brigade. The remaining village houses was taken over by Kiryat Ekron soon after.
According to the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, the village remaining structures on the village land were in 1992:
A number of small houses remain, several of which are occupied by Jewish families. One is a cement house with a gabled roof and rectangular doors and windows, another is similar in its features, but its roof is flat. Cypresses, cycamores and cactuses grow on the site. The surrounding lands are cultivated by Israelis.
- Hadawi, 1970, p.66
- Morris, 2004, p.xix, village #252. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Khalidi, 1990, p. 360
- Khalidi, 1990, p. 359
- Seymour Gitin and Trude Dothan (1987). "The Rise and Fall of Ekron of the Philistines: Recent Excavations at an Urban Border Site". The Biblical Archaeologist 50 (4): 197–222. doi:10.2307/3210048. JSTOR 3210048.
- Al-Mukaddasi, translated by Le Strange, 1884, p.60
- Al-Mukaddasi, translated by le Strange, 1890, p.389
- Yakut, iii. 697, translated by le Strange, 1890, p.390
- Wolf-Dieter Hütteroth 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. 153. ISBN 978-3-920405-41-4.
- Robinson, 1841, p21- p.25. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 360.
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP, Vol. II, p.408. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 521
- J. B. Barron, ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. Table VII.
- E. Mills, ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine. p. 19.
- Hadawi, 1970, p.114
- אודות קרית עקרון [About Kiryat Ekron] (in Hebrew). Kiryat Ekron local council. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aqir.|
- Conder, Claude Reignier and H.H. Kitchener (1881): The Survey of Western Palestine: memoirs of the topography, orography, hydrography, and archaeology. London:Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. vol 2
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). "Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine". Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center
- 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.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Al-Muqaddasi, 1884, Description of Syria, including Palestine translated by Le Strange
- Robinson, Edward, Eli Smith (1841): Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1838a, The full text, google-books, Can download PDF. Published by Crocker & Brewster, 1841 Item notes: v. 3
- le Strange, Guy (1890). "Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500". Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund
- Sharon, Moshe (1997). Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, Vol. I, A. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-10833-5. (see p. p.107 ff)