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Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew חֻרְפֵישׁ, חורפיש
 • ISO 259 Ḥurp̄eiš
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic حرفيش
Official logo of Hurfeish
Hurfeish is located in Israel
Coordinates: 33°1′4.36″N 35°20′46.49″E / 33.0178778°N 35.3462472°E / 33.0178778; 35.3462472Coordinates: 33°1′4.36″N 35°20′46.49″E / 33.0178778°N 35.3462472°E / 33.0178778; 35.3462472
District Northern
 • Type Local council (from 1967)
 • Total 4,229 dunams (4.229 km2 or 1.633 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 5,200
Name meaning Briar thorn

Hurfeish (Arabic: حرفيش‎; Hebrew: חֻרְפֵישׁ) (lit. "milk thistle") [1] is a Druze town in the Northern District of Israel.

Hurfeish surrendered to the advancing Israeli army during Operation Hiram, October 1948. An IDF plan, December 1949, to expel the population was blocked by the Foreign Ministry.[2]

Hurfeish was declared a local council in 1967. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) it had a total population of 5,200 in 2006, with a growth rate of 1.9%. The majority of residents are Druze, with a small number of Christians and Muslims. A large percentage of the population are police and army officers, serving with the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces.[3]


Shrine of Sabalan

According to the tradition, Sabalan, a Druze prophet, often identified with the Biblical Zebulon, escaped to cave after he failed to convert Hebron residents to the new religion, then he continued to teach the religion and also built by himself a room over the site of the cave. it is located in Hurfeish, on the top of Mount Zvul.[4] Until Israel's independence war, Sunni Muslims from the nearby village Sabalan were the owners of the shrine, since they left the village at 1948, the Druze under the leadership of Sheikh Amin Tarif took control over the site and built a hall for reception, more prayer halls (Khalwat) and theological school. Every 10 September it′s the time of a big Ziyarat to the shrine and Druze from Mount Carmel, Galilee and the Golan Heights visit the shrine for prayers and discuss on religious issues.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Guide to Israel, Vilnay: Hurfeish
  2. ^ Morris, Benny (1987) The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-33028-9. pp.242,251,349
  3. ^ Hurfeish-Nabi Salaban
  4. ^ Hurfeish-Nabi Salaban

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