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al-Malikiyya May 1948
Al-Malikiyya is located in Mandatory Palestine
Name meaningfrom "Malek": to possess, or reign[1]
Also spelledMalikiya, al
Coordinates33°06′19″N 35°30′23″E / 33.10528°N 35.50639°E / 33.10528; 35.50639Coordinates: 33°06′19″N 35°30′23″E / 33.10528°N 35.50639°E / 33.10528; 35.50639
Palestine grid197/278
Population360[2][3] (1945)
Area7,328[3] dunams
Date of depopulation28 May 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulationMilitary assault by Yishuv forces
Current localitiesMalkiya[5][6]

Al-Malikiyya (Arabic: المالكية‎) was a Palestinian village located in the Jabal Amil region. In a 1920s census, the village was registered as part of Greater Lebanon. It was later placed under the British Mandate of Palestine. Its population was mostly Metawali Shiite.

In a 1930s census, the village was registered as Palestinian and part of the Safed District. The village was depopulated as a result of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.


According to the Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi (d. 1228), the people of al-Malikiyya had a wooden platter that they believed was originally owned by the prophet Mohammed.[6][7]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1596, al-Malikiyya was a village in the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Tibnin under the liwa' (district) of Safad, with a population of 369. It paid taxes on a number of crops, such as wheat, barley, as well as goats and beehives.[8][9]

Victor Guérin visited in 1875, and noted that Al-Malkiyya had 300 Metawali inhabitants.[10] He further noted that the village, which stood upon a lofty summit, was remarkable for possessing neither well nor cistern; the women fetched their water from the spring at Kades. But a birkeh was placed on the map close to the village.[11]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Al-Malkiyya as being built of stone and adobe, lying on a plain to the east of a valley. Well supplied with water from a nearby wadi, the village's 200-300 inhabitants cultivated olives.[12]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1931 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, El Malikiya had a population of 254, all Muslims, in 48 houses.[13]

The population was 360 Muslims in the 1945 statistics,[2] with a total of 7,328 dunams of land.[3] A total of 4,225 dunums were allocated to cereals,[14] while 55 dunams were classifies as built-up land.[15]

1948 Arab-Israeli war, aftermath[edit]

Al-Malikiyya changed hands no fewer than five times between May and October 1948.[6]

A battle was fought in the village on 5–6 June 1948. Combatants were Israelis and the Lebanese army commanded by then Lebanese minister of defense, Emir Majid Arslan II. The Lebanese army would occupy the village for a month. This was the only time Lebanon directly participated in the war.[16]

As a result of the war, the village was depopulated.

In 1949, a kibbutz, Malkiya, was set up on village lands.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 88
  2. ^ a b Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 10
  3. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 70
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village #25. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xxii, Settlement #135, established 1949.
  6. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 471
  7. ^ Mu'jam Al-Buldan, cited in le Strange, 1890, p.77
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 179. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 471
  9. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  10. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 373
  11. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 373, as given in Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 251
  12. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 202; Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 471
  13. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 108
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 119
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 170
  16. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 276


External links[edit]