Kafr Qasim

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For the 1975 Syrian drama film, see Kafr kasem.
Kafr Qasim
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew כַּפְר קָסִם, כפר קאסם
 • ISO 259 Kpar Qásim, Kpar Qáˀsem
 • Also spelled Kafar Qasem (official)
Kufur Kassem (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic كفر قاسم
Monument in Kafr Qasim to the victims of the massacre in 1956.
Monument in Kafr Qasim to the victims of the massacre in 1956.
Kafr Qasim is located in Israel
Kafr Qasim
Kafr Qasim
Coordinates: 32°06′54″N 34°58′30″E / 32.1151°N 34.9751°E / 32.1151; 34.9751Coordinates: 32°06′54″N 34°58′30″E / 32.1151°N 34.9751°E / 32.1151; 34.9751
District Central
Founded 19th century
 • Type City (from 2008)
 • Mayor Adel Badir
 • Total 9,154 dunams (9.154 km2 or 3.534 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Total 21,100 Increase
Name meaning The village of Kasim[1]

Kafr Qasim (Hebrew: כַּפְר קָאסִם, Arabic: كفر قاسم‎), also known as Kafr Qassem, Kufur Kassem, Kfar Kassem and Kafar Kassem, is a hill-top Israeli Arab city located about 20 km (12 mi) east of Tel Aviv, near the Green Line separating Israel and the West Bank, on the southern portion of the "Little Triangle" of Arab-Israeli towns and villages. The town became notorious for the Kafr Qasim massacre, in which the Israel Border Police killed 49 civilians on October 29, 1956. On February 12, 2008, the Israeli Minister of the Interior declared Kafr Qasim a city in a ceremony held at the town.


The town's area was populated in ancient times, with the excavated Qesem Cave showing remains from the Middle Paleolithic period.[2] Cisterns, a winepress and field terraces have also been documented.[3]

Ottoman period[edit]

In 1870, during the Ottoman period, French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called Kafr Kasim. He found the place to be "the site of a more ancient town, as is shown by cisterns and the mass of rubbish found outside the present village".[4] The village had about four hundred inhabitants.[5]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village as being of moderate size, principally of adobe, on low hill in open ground. A rock-cut tomb existed to the south of the village.[6]

British Mandate of Palestine period[edit]

In 1917, during World War I, Kafr Qasim (together with the rest of the area) was captured from the ruling Ottoman Empire by the British Army and was later placed under the British Mandate of Palestine.

In 1945 the population of Kafr Qasim was 1,460, all Arabs, who owned 12,765 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[7] 239 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 491 plantations and irrigable land, 8,980 for cereals,[8] while 58 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[9]

1948, and after[edit]

Kafr Qasim is known as the village where the Israeli military advances came to a halt in the central part of Palestine during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1949, Israel annexed the town in accordance with the armistice agreements, which ended the war.

Kafr Qasim became known because of the massacre that was committed by the Israel border police (MAGAV) on October 29, 1956, during which 49 civilians were shot dead. This massacre remains an open wound between the villagers and rest of the Israeli society. In 1959, the town was granted local council status by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

In recent years, the town became known as the place where Sheikh Abdullah Nimar Darwish started the Islamic Movement. Israeli parliamentarian Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur, a native of Kafr Qasim, served for a decade on the town council and heads the southern faction of the Islamic Movement of Israel since 1999. In 2008, it was announced that Kafr Qasim could soon become a city.[10]


At the time of the 1931 census, Kafr Qasim had 241 occupied houses and a population of 989 Muslims.[11]

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the town has 21,100 mostly Muslim inhabitants at the end of 2012.[12] There are 936 females for every 1,000 males. The population increases at an annual rate of 2.7%.

The social-economic rank of the town is relatively low (3 out of 10). Only 50.2% of 12th graders were eligible for graduation (Bagrut) certificates in 2000. The average monthly wage in 2000 was 3,633 NIS, as opposed to the national average of 6,835 NIS at that time.

People from Kafr Qasim[edit]

Main category: People from Kafr Qasim

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 230
  2. ^ Khalaily, 2005, Kafr Qasim (East)
  3. ^ Zbenovich et al., 2005, Kafr Qasim, Development Survey
  4. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 141, as cited in Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 324
  5. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 141
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 285
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 75
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 126
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 176
  10. ^ Majadele: New Arab city will bolster our sense of belonging
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 64
  12. ^ "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 1,000 Residents and Other Rural Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 


External links[edit]