Al-Qubayba, Hebron

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al-Qubayba is located in Mandatory Palestine
Name meaningThe little (eastern) dome[1]
Also spelledQubeiba
Coordinates31°34′14″N 34°51′16″E / 31.57056°N 34.85444°E / 31.57056; 34.85444Coordinates: 31°34′14″N 34°51′16″E / 31.57056°N 34.85444°E / 31.57056; 34.85444
Palestine grid136/108
Population1,060[2][3] (1945)
Area11,912 dunams
11.912[3] km²
Date of depopulation28 October 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulationMilitary assault by Yishuv forces
Current localitiesLakhish

al-Qubayba (Arabic: القبيبة‎), also known as Qubeiba, was a Palestinian village, located 24 kilometers northwest of Hebron. It was depopulated in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.


Known in Crusader times as Deirelcobebe, the ruins of the ancient Canaanite city of Lachish lay adjacent to the village,[5][6] which was subject to extensive archaeological excavations by the British Mandatory authorities in Palestine, and by Israeli authorities subsequent to its capture during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.[7] Remains of settlement in the Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic period[8] and Mamluk era have been found.[9]

Ottoman period[edit]

In 1517, Al-Qubayba was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers as being in the nahiya (subdistrict) of Gaza under the liwa' (district) of Gaza. It had a population of 33 Muslim household, an estimated 182 persons. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25 % on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, sesame, and fruit trees, as well as goats and beehives; a total of 4,600 akçe. 11/24 of the revenue went to a Waqf.[10][11]

In 1838 Edward Robinson noted 200 reapers and gleaners at work in a field near Al-Qubayba (which he called Kubeibeh). He added: "Some were taking their refreshment, and offered us some of their "parched corn." In the season of harvest, the grains of wheat, not yet fully dry and hard, are roasted in a pan or an iron plate, and constitute a very palliative article of bread; this is eaten along with bread, or instead of it."[12] Robinson further noted Kubeibeh as a Muslim village, in the Gaza district.[13]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Al-Qubayba as a large village built of adobe brick, situated on rolling hills near a plain, surrounded by a barren and stony area.[11][14]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Al-Qubaiba had a population of 646, all Muslims,[15] increasing in the 1931 census to 800, still all Muslim, in a total of 141 houses.[16]

The village had a school, a mosque, and a number of small shops. Two wells located northwest and southwest of it provided drinking water.[11]

In the 1945 statistics the population of Al-Qubayba was 1,060, all Muslims,[2] who owned 11.912 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[3] 8109 dunams were for cereals[17] while 35 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[18]

1948 and aftermath[edit]

Al-Qubayba was in the territory allotted to the Arab state under the 1947 UN Partition Plan.[19]

The village was first attacked during Operation Barak. Though defended by Egyptian forces, al-Qubayba was taken by Israeli forces in the final stages of Operation Yoav on 28 October 1948. The population had fled and the village was destroyed.

The area was subsequently incorporated into the State of Israel and in 1955 the moshav of Lakhish was established to the southwest of the village site on what had been village lands.[20]

Of the village mosque, an elementary school, and more than 141 houses that made up al-Qubayba, Walid Khalidi notes that all that remains to mark the site in contemporary times are cacti and a handful of olive trees.[7]


A woman's thob (loose fitting robe with sleeves), from Qubeiba dated to about 1910 forms part of the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) collection at Santa Fe. The dress is a collage of different fabrics, textures and colors. The front and the upper half of the back are of black cotton. The chest panel, the side panels and the lower back of the skirt are handwoven indigo linen. Colorful silk cross-stitch embroidery, in red, violet, orange, yellow, green and black, create an effect described as "particularly gay, twinkling"[5] The qabbeh (square chest panel) is embroidered with the qurunful ("clove") motif, and it has vertical rows of eight-pointed stars, called qamr ("moons"), and a row of the mushut ("combs") pattern. There are eight embroidered columns on each side panel of the dress. The patterns which are used are fanajin qahweh ("coffee cups"), khem-el-basha ("the pashas tent"), irq el-ward ("rose branch"), and miftah Khalil ("key of Hebron"). There is also a pattern (with flowers, moons, trees, tents and tiles) not seen anywhere else in the MOMA collection. Finally, there is also some embroidery at the wrists.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 376
  2. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 23
  3. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 50
  4. ^ Morris 2004, p. xix, village #323, Also gives cause of depopulation
  5. ^ a b c Stillman 1979, p. 57.
  6. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 880
  7. ^ a b "Welcome to Al-Qubayba". Palestine Remembered. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
  8. ^ Haiman, 2014, El-Qubab
  9. ^ Lupu, 2010, El-Qubab
  10. ^ Hütteroth & Abdulfattah 1977, p. 146.
  11. ^ a b c Khalidi 1992, p. 220.
  12. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, p. 394
  13. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 119
  14. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 258
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Hebron, p. 10
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 33
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 93
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 143
  19. ^ "Map of UN Partition Plan". United Nations. Archived from the original on 18 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  20. ^ Khalidi 1992, p. 221.


External links[edit]