Maghar, Israel

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Maghar
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew מַעָ'ר, מע'אר, מגאר
 • ISO 259 (Mrar) (Israeli pronunciation)
 • Also spelled Mughar (official)
Mrar, Mghar (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic المغار
PikiWiki Israel 29762 Maghar Village.jpg
Official logo of Maghar
Logo
Maghar is located in Israel
Maghar
Maghar
Coordinates: 32°53′24″N 35°24′30″E / 32.89000°N 35.40833°E / 32.89000; 35.40833Coordinates: 32°53′24″N 35°24′30″E / 32.89000°N 35.40833°E / 32.89000; 35.40833
District Northern
Government
 • Type Local council (from 1956)
Area
 • Total 19,810 dunams (19.81 km2 or 7.65 sq mi)
Population (2009)[1][1]
 • Total 19,900
Name meaning The Caves[2]

Maghar (Arabic: المغار‎, Hebrew: מַעָ'ר, also al-Maghar or Mghar; lit. the cave) is an Arab village in Israel's North District with an area of 19,810 dunams. Maghar was classified with local council status in 1956. There were 19,900 people living in Maghar at the end of 2009.[1]

History[edit]

Antiquity[edit]

Maghar was known as "Zar" during the Roman period. Many olive groves and wine presses testify to a long history of agriculture in the area, and numerous hillside caves show signs of ancient habitation. The village's name comes from the Arabic word for "the caves".[2]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1596 the village appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as Magar Hazur, part of the nahiya of Tabariyya in the Liwa of Safad. It had an entirely Muslim population consisting of 169 households and 17 bachelors. Taxes were paid on wheat, barley, olive trees, goats and/or beehives, and a press for olives or grapes.[3]

The 19th century French explorer Victor Guérin found the village, which he called el-Mehar, to be a large one with 1200 inhabitants. It was divided into three quarters, with Muslim, Christian and Druse inhabitants.[4] In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described El Mughar as a "large stone-built village, containing about 1,100 Moslems, Druses, and Christians, situated on the slope of the hill, with extensive olive-groves to the south and west; a large spring and birkeh gives a good supply of water."[5]

British Mandate[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Mughar wa Mansura had a total population of 1377. Of these, 265 were Muslim, 676 Druze and 436 Christians.[6] All the Christians were Roman Catholic.[7] In the 1931 census the population of Maghar, together with Al-Mansura, was a total of 1733, in 373 inhabited houses. Of these, 307 were Muslim, 549 Christians, and 877 Druze.[8]

In 1945 the population of Maghar, together with Al-Mansura, was 2,140, all Arabs, who owned 55,583 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[9] 7,864 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 18,352 for cereals,[10] while 55 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[11]

State of Israel[edit]

Olive groves in Maghar

During Operation Hiram, 29–31 October 1948, the town surrendered to the advancing Israeli army. Many of the inhabitants fled north but some stayed and were not expelled by the Israeli soldiers.[12] The town remained under Martial Law until 1966.

During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, two residents of Maghar were killed and several wounded in Hezbollah rocket and cluster bomb attacks.[13][14] On July 25, Doua Abbas, 15, was killed by a rocket that hit her house. On August 4, Manal Azzam, a 27 year old mother of two, was killed, and two other residents were seriously wounded when a rocket hit their apartment building.[15][16]

Demographics[edit]

The majority of residents are Druze(57%), with Arab Christians (23%) and Muslims (20%).[17] Many of the Druze residents serve in the IDF and Israel Police.[18] A new neighbourhood was recently built for demobilized soldiers.[citation needed] In 2005, rumours that Christians had uploaded pornographic pictures of Druze girls led to thousands of Druze youth marching through Christian neighbourhoods, torching cars and shops. A police investigation proved the rumors false. They were attributed to a 16-year old Druze boy who initially confessed but later retracted his statement, claiming that the police were searching for a scapegoat.[19]

Education and culture[edit]

In August 2003, the Israel Circus School established a joint Jewish-Arab "Children’s Circus" together with its partner, Circus Maghar. A group of 20 Jewish and Arab children trained for the circus. In addition to local performances, the circus school toured Cyprus, giving workshops and performances for Christian and Muslim schools and community centers.[20]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 2,000 Residents and Other Rural Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  2. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 131
  3. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 187.
  4. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 457-458
  5. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, p. 364
  6. ^ Barron, 1923m Table XI, Sub-district of Tiberias
  7. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XVI
  8. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 83
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 72
  10. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 122
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 172
  12. ^ Morris, 1987, p. 226
  13. ^ Kalman, Matthew (2006-08-05). "In Israel: Arabs are among the dead and wounded in Hezbollah rocket attacks". Casualties of War: Families (San Francisco Chronicle). Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  14. ^ "Lebanon/Israel: Hezbollah Hit Israel with Cluster Munitions During Conflict". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  15. ^ Arabs are among the dead and wounded in Hezbollah rocket attacks
  16. ^ Einav, Hagai (2006-08-04). "3 killed in rocket attacks on north". Ynetnews. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  17. ^ Gutterman, Dov. Mughar (Israel) CRW Flags.
  18. ^ Druze Christian Clashes Cool off in Maghar
  19. ^ Khoury, Jack (2005-02-14). "Police: Maghar riots sparked by teen spreading false rumor". Haaretz. [dead link]
  20. ^ Israel Circus School and Circus Maghar
  21. ^ Integration at Israel's embassy in Norway

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]