Safsaf

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Not to be confused with Safsaf, Libya. ‹See Tfd›
Safsaf
Safsaf is located in Mandatory Palestine
Safsaf
Safsaf
Arabic صفصاف
Name meaning "the weeping willow"
Also spelled Safsofa
Subdistrict Safad
Coordinates 33°00′41.81″N 35°26′44.37″E / 33.0116139°N 35.4456583°E / 33.0116139; 35.4456583Coordinates: 33°00′41.81″N 35°26′44.37″E / 33.0116139°N 35.4456583°E / 33.0116139; 35.4456583
Population 910[1] (1945)
Area 7,391[1] dunams
Date of depopulation 29 October 1948[2]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Secondary cause Fear of being caught up in the fighting
Current localities Kfar Hoshen,[3][4] Bar Yohai[5]

Safsaf (Arabic: صفصاف‎, the weeping willow, also known in Roman times as Safsofa) was a Palestinian village located 9 kilometres northwest of Safed, present-day Israel. Its villagers fled to Lebanon after the Safsaf massacre in October 1948, during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

History[edit]

The village was called Safsofa in Roman times.[6]

In the early sixteenth century CE, Safsaf was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, and by 1596, it was a village in the nahiyah ("subdistrict") of Jira, part of Sanjak Safad. It had a population of 138, and it paid taxes on several agricultural items including wheat, barley, olives and fruits, as well as other types of produce, such as beehives and goats.[7]

In the late nineteenth century, travellers reported that Safsaf was a small village situated on a plain, with a population of about 100. They also noted that "ornamented stones of a preexisting public building" had been built into the doorway of the village mosque.[8] The villagers cultivated olive and fig trees and vineyards.[9]

Safsaf became a part of the British Mandate in 1922. During this time, the village lay on the eastern side of the Safad-Tarshiha highway and extended in a northeast-southwest direction. All the residents of Safsaf were Muslims. A mosque and several shops were located in the village center, and an elementary school was established during this period. Agriculture was the main economic activity, and it was both irrigated from springs and rainfed. Fruits and olives were cultivated on the land north of the village. In 1944/45 a total of 2,586 dunums were allotted to cereals; 769 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.[4][10]

On October 29, 1948, Israeli forces assaulted the village as part of Operation Hiram.[11] After the villagers surrendered, some 50-70 men were massacred while bound and three women were allegedly raped.[4][12][13][14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hadawi, 1970, p.71
  2. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village #45. Also gives causes of depopulation.
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xxi, Settlement #49, established January 1949.
  4. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 491
  5. ^ Established in 1979. Khalidi, 1992, p. 491
  6. ^ Khalidi, 1992, p 490
  7. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah p.177, quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 490.
  8. ^ SWP (Survey of Western Palestine), (1881) I 257. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 491
  9. ^ SWP, I 200. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 491
  10. ^ Hadawi, 1970, p.121
  11. ^ Welcome to Safsaf, Palestine Remembered, retrieved 2007-12-12 
  12. ^ Benvenisti, 2000, p. 153
  13. ^ Nazzal, 1978, p. 93-96
  14. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 481

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]