|Also spelled||'Arab Zubeih|
|Date of depopulation||April 20, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Fear of being caught up in the fighting|
Arab al-Zubayd was a Palestinian village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on April 20, 1948, when the villagers fled on hearing the intentions of The Palmach's First Battalion of Operation Yiftach. It was located 15 km northeast of Safad, situated close to al-Barid River in the foothills of the Upper Galilee Mountains, which slope towards the al-Hula Plain. It was located just west of the al-Mutilla-Safad—Tiberias highway.
The population in 1931 was 432. In 1945 it had a population of 160. The population relied on many springs for drinking water, to the north and to the northeast linked to the al-Band River. The economy was based on grain cultivation and in 1944–45 a total of 1,761 dunums was allocated to cereal farming.
1948 war and depopulation
Israeli historian Benny Morris has found evidence that its population feared the possibility of a Jewish attack and fled on 20 April at the very beginning of the operation, before the actual occupation of any villages in the area. Nevertheless, in August 1948, Golani Brigade units were preparing to blow up the village after a complaint from the nearby Kibbutz Sha'ar HaAmakim who objected to their forces. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion denied responsibility, saying: "No permission was given by me or to any commander to destroy houses." The village was still destroyed and today all that remains of Arab al-Zubayed is rubble, buried under a thicket of woods, grass, and thorny plants.
Israeli farmers today cultivate part of the land for agriculture.
Notes and references
- Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village #31. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Khalidi, 1992, p.435.
- Khalidi, 1992, p.436.
- 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.
- Welcome To 'Arab al-Zubayd
- 'Arab al-Zubayd at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center
- 'Arab al-Zubayd, Dr. Khalil Rizk.
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