From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew מִעִלְיָא
 • ISO 259 Miˁilyaˀ
 • Also spelled Malia (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic معليا
Official logo of Mi'ilya
Mi'ilya is located in Israel
Coordinates: 33°1′30.57″N 35°15′34.41″E / 33.0251583°N 35.2595583°E / 33.0251583; 35.2595583Coordinates: 33°1′30.57″N 35°15′34.41″E / 33.0251583°N 35.2595583°E / 33.0251583; 35.2595583
District Northern
Founded Prior to 1160[1]
 • Type Local council (from 1957)
 • Total 1,365 dunams (1.365 km2 or 337 acres)
Population (2009)[2]
 • Total 2,800

Mi'ilya (Arabic: معليا‎, Hebrew: מִעִלְיָא) is an Arab local council in the western Galilee in the Northern District of Israel. Its name during the Kingdom of Jerusalem era in Galilee was Castellum Regis.[1] All of its inhabitants are Christians. Mi'ilya is located northwest of the city of Ma'alot-Tarshiha, being immediately adjacent to it.


Early history[edit]

Archaeological excavations in Mi'ilya gives indication of inhabitation from the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, as well as Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Mamluk and Ottoman periods.[3]

Middle Ages[edit]

King's castle[edit]

King's castle, in 2009

The King's castle in Mi'ilya dates back at least to 1160, when King Baldwin III of Jerusalem granted title to it to a certain John of Haifa and his heirs. In 1182, Baldwin IV granted it to his uncle, Jocelyn III. At this time it was called "The new castle in the mountains of Acre". By 1187, the castle fell to Saladin. Later, in the early 1200, ownership passed to the Teutonic Knights. However, the importance of the castle of Mi'ilya was by this time superseded by the Montfort Castle.[4]

The Arab geographer, Al-Dimashqi, noted the "fine castle", and that close to it was a very pleasant valley, where musk-pears and large citrons were grown.[5]

Ottoman period[edit]

In 1596, Mi'ilya appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Akka of the Liwa of Safad. It had a population of 15 Muslim households and 2 Christian households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, olives, and goats or beehives.[6]

In 1881, Mi'ilya was described as being a large and well-built village of stone, containing 450 Christians, surrounded by olives and arable land.[7]

Mandatory period[edit]

At the time of the 1931 census of Palestine, Mi'ilya had 138 occupied houses and a population of 553 Christians, 25 Muslims and 1 Druse.[8] By 1945, this had increased to 790 Christians and 110 Muslims.[9]

State of Israel[edit]

In the early part of 1948 the village suffered from food shortages and harassment from neighbouring Jewish areas. It was captured by the Israeli army during Operation Hiram at the end of October. After a short fight most of population fled into the countryside. The following day the local IDF commander allowed them to return to their homes. This was one of the few occasions when villagers were allowed back into their villages after they had left.[10] In January 1949 some villagers from Mi'ilya were expelled to Jenin, they complained of being robbed by Israeli soldiers whilst being deported. The Ministry for Minority Affairs reported that a further 25 villagers were expelled in March being suspected of passing information to the enemy.[11] The Arab population remained under Martial Law until 1966. Mi'ilya was recognized as a local council in 1957.



Mi'ilya is located on the Highway 89 which connects Nahariya with Elifelet via Safed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ellenblum, 2003, p. 41.
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ Porat, 2009, Mi‘ilya, the Church Square Preliminary Report
  4. ^ Pringle, 1998, p. 30
  5. ^ leStrange, 1890, p.495
  6. ^ Wolf-Dieter Hütteroth 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, p. 194 
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, p.149
  8. ^ E. Mills, ed. (1932), Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas, Jerusalem: Government of Palestine, p. 102 
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Village Statistics 1945.
  10. ^ Morris, Benny (1987) The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-33028-9. p.228
  11. ^ Morris. p.352


External links[edit]

  • Mi'ilya, statistics on land and population at Palestine Remembered