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Named El Qahweh in Pierre Jacotin´s map from 1799
al-Nahr is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic النهر
Name meaning In 1881, the place was named Kahweh, meaning "the coffee shop"[1]
Also spelled an-Nahr
Subdistrict Acre
Coordinates 33°00′25.42″N 35°08′28.58″E / 33.0070611°N 35.1412722°E / 33.0070611; 35.1412722Coordinates: 33°00′25.42″N 35°08′28.58″E / 33.0070611°N 35.1412722°E / 33.0070611; 35.1412722
Palestine grid 163/268
Area 5,261[2] dunams
Date of depopulation 21 May 1948[3]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Ben Ami,[4] Kabri

al-Nahr (Arabic: النهر‎) was a Palestinian village 14 km northeast of Acre. It was depopulated in May 1948 after a military assault carried out by the Carmeli Brigade as part of the Israel Defense Forces's Operation Ben-Ami. Immediately after the assault the village of al-Nahr was razed.[5][6]


The twin villages of Al-Nahr and nearby al-Tall were both sites of ancient settlements atop the tel of Kabri. Recent excavations indicate habitation back to the sixth millennium BC.[7]

Ottoman era[edit]

In the Ottoman period, the village appeared under the name of El Qahweh in Pierre Jacotin´s map from 1799.[8] In 1875, the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called El Kahoueh. He found it to have 120 inhabitants, all Muslims.[9] In 1881 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village, then named El Kahweh, as a "stone village, containing about 250 Moslems, [] situated on the plain, surrounded by figs, olives, mulberries, and pomegranates; there is a spring and flowing stream at this village."[10]

British Mandate era[edit]

In villagers of Al-Nahr were Muslim, and lived principally of agriculture and animal husbandry.[11] In 1944/45 it had a population of 610 Arabs, with 5,261 dunams of land.[2] A total of 2,066 dunums was used for citrus and bananas, 1,094 dunums were allotted to cereals, 1,937 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, of which 30 dunums were planted in olive trees,[11][12] while 28 dunams were built-up land.[13]

1948 war and aftermath[edit]

On March 27, 1948, hundreds of armed villagers and units of the Arab Liberation Army attacked a Jewish convoy near Kabri, killing forty-nine Jews. Six Arabs were also killed in the battle. Two months later the commander of Operation Ben-Ami gave operational orders given that day were to "attack with the aim of capturing, the villages of Kabri, Umm al Faraj and Al-Nahr, to kill the men [and] and to destroy and set fire to the villages."[6][14] Benvenisti states that "the orders were carried out to the letter", while Morris writes that a number of villagers were apparently executed.[6][15]

The Israeli kibbutz of Kabri makes use of village land.[11] The settlement of Ben Ami, named after the fallen commander of an attack on nearby Nahariyya, was also established on the village land.[11]

In 1992, the village site was described as "Only two houses remain, and one of them is partially destroyed. A tall date-palm tree grows on the village site, which is overgrown by wild grasses, a few cactuses, and fig trees. The cemetery, on the western side of the village contains one identifiable grave. The nearby Fawwara spring has been fenced in and declared private property."[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 43
  2. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 41
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xvii village #82
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, (third printing 2006), p. xx village 152
  5. ^ Morris, 2004, (third printing 2006), p 253
  6. ^ a b c Benvenisti, 2000, pp. 138-139
  7. ^ Stern, E., Lewinson-Gilboa, A., Avriam, J. (1993). The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land 3. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society & Carta, Simon and Schuster. pp. 839–841. ISBN 0-13-276312-5. 
  8. ^ Karmon, 1960, p. 160
  9. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 31
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 146
  11. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, pp. 27-28
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 81
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 131
  14. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 253, 347.
  15. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 254.


External links[edit]