Kaukab Abu al-Hija

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kaukab Abu al-Hija
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew כַּוּכַּבּ/כַּוַכַּב/כאוכב אַבּוּ אל-הִיגַ'א
 • ISO 259 Kawkaḅ ˀabbu ˀel-Hiǧaˀ
 • Also spelled Kaokab Abu Al-Hija (official)
Kawkab Abu al-Heija (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic كوكب أبو الهيجا
Kaukab Abu al-Hija is located in Israel
Kaukab Abu al-Hija
Kaukab Abu al-Hija
Coordinates: 32°49′52.83″N 35°14′55.33″E / 32.8313417°N 35.2487028°E / 32.8313417; 35.2487028Coordinates: 32°49′52.83″N 35°14′55.33″E / 32.8313417°N 35.2487028°E / 32.8313417; 35.2487028
Grid position 173/248 PAL
District Northern
 • Type Local council (from 1984)
 • Head of Municipality Zaher Saleh
 • Total 2,567 dunams (2.567 km2 or 634 acres)
Population (2006)
 • Total 2,800
Name meaning Abu al-Hija's Star

Kaukab Abu al-Hija (Arabic: كوكب أبو الهيجا‎; Hebrew: כַּוּכַּבּ אַבּוּ אל-הִיגַ'א), often simply Kaukab, (meaning "star"),[1] is an Arab Muslim village and local council in the North District of Israel, in the Lower Galilee. It is located on Road 784, between Shefa-'Amr and Karmiel, and next to Kafr Manda. Kaukab was historically under the control of the Abu al-Hija family of the Galilee.[2]

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Kaukab had a population of 2,800 in 2005,[3] and is ranked low (3/10) on the Israeli socio-economic scale. Its jurisdiction is 2,567 dunams.[4]


It is possible to discern the ruins of Byzantine, Roman and Greek settlements on Kaukab's location, and it might be the location of the town Kokhva, mentioned in the Talmud,[5] however, many places in the area shared the name, and one cannot know which one was Kokhva.[6]

Kaukab was founded next to the grave of Husam ad-Din Abu al-Hija, one of Saladin's lieutenants, and is holy to the local Muslims. It is thus named Kaukab Abu al-Hija to differentiate it from several other Arab villages with the same name.[7][5]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1517, the village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the Ottoman tax registers under the name of "Kawkab Bani Krad" as being in the nahiya (subdistrict) of Akka under the Liwa of Safad, with a population of 41 households and 8 bachelors, all Muslim. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and barley, summer crops, fruit trees, as well as on goats and/or beehives.[8]

In 1875, the French explorer Victor Guérin visited Kaukab, and described it as a small village with about 250 inhabitants, situated on a mountain at an altitude of 425 meters above the sea level. He also noted a waly (holy man) dedicated to Sheikh Ali.[6]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kaukab had a total population of 222, all Muslim,[9] which had increased in the 1931 census to 285, still all Muslim, in a total of 57 houses.[10]

In 1938, during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, the village was destroyed and its threshing floors burnt by British troops during a revenge mission.[11] In 1945, the population was 490, all Arabs, with 18,674 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[12] Of this, 332 dunams were for plantations and irrigable land, 1,657 for cereals,[13] while 10 dunams were built-up land.[14]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

During Operation Hiram, 29-31 October 1948, the village surrendered to the advancing Israeli army. Many of the villagers fled north but some stayed and were not expelled by the Israeli soldiers.[15] The village remained under Martial Law until 1966.

In 1973, the population had grown to 1,340. Kaukab was declared a local council in 1984.[2]

Shrine of Abu al-Hija[edit]

Shrine of Abu al-Hija

To the north of the village is the shrine and tomb of Abu al-Hija (also spelled Abu al-Hayja), a two domed structure with a courtyard to the north. In the rectangular courtyard, there are two cenotaphs, one on each side of the door entering the shine. The cenotaph to the west of the door belongs to Ali Badawi Abu al-Hija, who died in 1183 H (1769 CE), the east of the door carries an inscription dated to 1181 H (1767-1768 CE). Entering the shrine is done into the eastern domed chamber. This is a prayer chamber, and has a mihrab (prayer niche) set into the south wall. The next chamber has two cenotaphs, one which belong to the founder of the Galillee al-Hija-villages.[16][17] The village's cemetery surrounds the tomb. There are two other major tombs in the village: that of sheikhs Hassan and Sayeed.

Sculptures for Peace[edit]

After the signing of the Oslo agreements in 1993, the idea of establishing a sculpture garden in Kaukab was initiated by Kaukab local council together with Beit Hagefen, the Arab-Jewish Centre in Haifa. The garden was dedicated to the concept of peace and coexistence. The sculpture garden extends over two hill tops with other pieces scattered around the village and its entrance. The sculptures were donated by Israeli Arab and Jewish artists, and Palestinian artists.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p.110
  2. ^ a b Kaokab Abu Al-Hija (Israel) Gutterman, Dov. Flags of the World.
  3. ^ "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 1,000 Residents and Other Rural Population" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  4. ^ "Local Authorities in Israel 2005, Publication #1295 - Municipality Profiles - Kaukab Abu al-Hija" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  5. ^ a b HaReuveni, Immanuel (1999). Lexicon of the Land of Israel (in Hebrew). Miskal - Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed Books. p. 476. ISBN 965-448-413-7. 
  6. ^ a b Guérin, 1880, p. 488
  7. ^ Vilnai, Ze'ev (1976). "Kaukab". Ariel Encyclopedia (in Hebrew). Volume 4. Israel: Am Oved. p. 3524. 
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 194
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Nazareth, p. 38
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 74
  11. ^ Jacob Norris (2008). "Repression and Rebellion: Britain's response to the Arab Revolt in Palestine of 1936-39". The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 36: 25–45. doi:10.1080/03086530801889350. 
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 62
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 109
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 159
  15. ^ Morris, 1987, p. 226
  16. ^ Petersen, 2001, pp. 196-197
  17. ^ Slyomovics, 1998, pp, 130 -131.
  18. ^ http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFA-Archive/1999/Pages/Sculptures%20for%20Peace%20at%20Kaukab%20Abu%20El-Hija.aspx


External links[edit]