|• Hebrew||כַּפְר כָּנָּא|
|• ISO 259||Kpar Kannaˀ|
|• Also spelled||Kafar Kanna (official)
Kufr Kana (unofficial)
|• Arabic||كفر كنا|
Roadside view of Kafr Kanna
|• Type||Local council (from 1968)|
|• Total||10,600 dunams (10.6 km2 or 4.1 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||"Village of Cana"|
Kafr Kanna (Arabic: كفر كنا, Kafr Kanā; Hebrew: כַּפְר כַּנָּא) is an Arab town in the Galilee, part of the North District of Israel. It is associated with the New Testament village of Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. It had a population of about 18,000 in 2006.
Ancient and classic period
On the outskirts of the modern town is the tomb of the Jewish sage, rabbi Simeon ben Gamliel, the Nasi (prince) of the Sanhedrin (legislative body of Ancient Israel), who became president of the Sanhedrin in 50 CE. His tomb has remained an important site for Jewish pilgrims over the centuries.
Nasir-i-Khusraw visited the village in 1047 CE and described the place in his diary:
To the southward [of Kafar Kannah] is a hill, on the top of which they have built a fine monastery. It has a strong gate, and the tomb of the prophet Yunis (Jonas) [...] is shown within. Near the gate of the monastery is a well, and the water thereof is sweet and good. [...] Acre is 4 leagues distant.
Kafr Kanna was conquered by the Crusaders in 1099. During this period, Ali of Herat wrote that one could see the Makam of Jonas, and also the grave of his son, at Kafr Kanna. This was repeated by Yaqut al-Hamawi, although he only wrote of the tomb as being that of Jonas' father. In August 1254 Julian the lord of Sidon sold it to the Knights Hospitaller.
Around 1300, Kafr Kanna was described as being a large village, in which lived the chiefs of various tribes. The head tribe is called Kais al-Hamra ("Kais the Red.") According to the chronicler, Al-Dimashqi, the district Buttauf, called "the Drowned Meadow", belonged to the village. Al-Dimashqi further remarked that the waters of the surrounding hills drained into the area, flooding it; as soon as the land is dried up grain was sown.
Under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the village flourished in the 16th century, as it lay on the trade route between Egypt and Syria. In 1596, Ottoman officials recorded the population as 475 Muslim households and 96 Jewish households, making it the sixth most populous locality in Palestine at the time.
British and Israeli rule
The town is identified by Christians as the town of Cana, where Jesus performed a miracle at the Marriage at Cana (John 2:1-12). According to the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914, the identification of Kafr Kanna with Cana dates back to at least the 8th century. However, the general view starting from the 12th-century placed Cana at Khirbet Qana, a site 8.5 kilometers to the northwest of Kafr Kanna. Later, the traditional identification with Kafr Kanna was reemerged strongly in the mid-14th-century and until the present day this view has not been supplanted.
As is the case with many other mixed Muslim-Christian towns in the region, the Christians generally tend to live in the oldest part of town. In Kafr Kanna - and in Kafr Yasif and 'Abud, among others - there are two ancient nuclei in the town: the earlier one where Christians live, and another (also hundreds of years old) where Muslims live.
Maccabi Kafr Kanna currently play in Liga Artzit, the third tier of Israeli football and have played at the second level in the past. Hapoel Kafr Kanna play in Liga Alef (the fourth tier) and Beitar Kafr Kanna play in Liga Bet (the fifth tier)
- Jamal Zahalka, resident, Knesset member, Balad party.
- Wasil Taha, resident, Knesset member, Balad party.
- Abdulmalik Dehamshe, resident, former Knesset member, United Arab List.
- The near-miracle in Kafr Kana
- "Tomb of Shimon ben Gamliel vandalized", Jerusalem Post, April 21, 2006 (accessed August 7, 2012).
- Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel's tomb set ablaze, arson suspected, YNet News, November 15, 2009 (accessed August 7, 2012).
- Excavations uncover Galilee village of Kana
- leStrange, 1890, p.469
- Pringle, 1993, p. 285.
- leStrange, 1890, p.470
- Thomson, 1860, p.120
- 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; page 187
- J. B. Barron, ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. Table XI, Sub-district of Nazareth, p. 38.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. p. 421. ISBN 0-521-00967-7.
- Pappe, Ilan (2011) The Forgotten Palestinians. A History of the Palestinians in Israel. Yale. ISBN 978-0-300-13441-4. p.241.
- Population of localities numbering above 1,000 residents and other rural populations on 31/12/2006 Central Bureau of Statistics
- Ronnie Ellenblum (2003). Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52187-4, 9780521521871 Check
- leStrange, 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, London,
- Morris, Benny (2004), The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00967-7
- Pringle, Denys (1993), The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A-K (excluding Acre and Jerusalem), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521390362
- Thomson, William McClure, (1860): The Land and the Book: Or, Biblical Illustrations Drawn from the Manners and Customs, the Scenes and Scenery, of the Holy Land Vol II
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