Palestinian house in Aqir, post 1948
|Also spelled||Akir, Akkur|
|Date of depopulation||6 (??) May 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Kiryat Ekron, Mazkeret Batya Ganei Yohanan|
Until the early 20th century, Aqir was thought to lie at the site of the ancient Philistine city of Ekron, that has now been identified as Tel Mikne, 9 km to the south. The error seems rooted in antiquity; The Romans referred to the village as Accaron. In the 10th century, Al-Muqaddasi writes of Aqir (Ekron) as "A large village with a mosque. Its inhabitants are much given to good works. The bread here is not to be surpassed for quality. The village lies on the high road from Ar-Ramlah to Makka." Yakut called it Al Akir, and said it belonged to Ar Ramlah.
In 1596, Aqir (Amir) appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Ramla of the Liwa of Gaza. It had a population of 31 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, and other produce.
The scholar Edward Robinson passed by the village in 1838, and described it as being surrounded by "well-tilled gardens and fields of the richest soil". The village itself was described as being of "considerable size", built of bricks or adobe.
In 1863 Victor Guérin noted Aqir as a large village, with 800 inhabitants. In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as "an adobe village on low rising ground, with cactus hedges surrounding its gardens, and a well to the north."
British Mandate era
Between 1941 and 1948, the RAF Aqir airfield was located nearby. In 1945, the village had a population of 2,480 with two elementary schools: one for boys, founded in 1921 which had an enrollment of 391 boys in 1945 and a second for girls, which had an enrollment of 46 girls in 1945. There were two mosques in the village.
In 1944/45, the village had 1,300 dunums of land used for citrus and banana cultivation, 8,968 dunums were used for cereals, 914 dunums irrigated or used for orchards, while 46 dunams were classified as built-up public areas.
1948 and afterward
The village was depopulated during the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on 6 May 1948 during Operation Barak by the Givati Brigade. The remaining village houses were taken over by Kiryat Ekron soon after.
According to the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, the village remaining structures on the village land were in 1992:
A number of small houses remain, several of which are occupied by Jewish families. One is a cement house with a gabled roof and rectangular doors and windows, another is similar in its features, but its roof is flat. Cypresses, cycamores and cactuses grow on the site. The surrounding lands are cultivated by Israelis.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 265
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 66
- Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #252. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 360
- Khalidi, 1990, p. 359
- Seymour Gitin and Trude Dothan (1987). "The Rise and Fall of Ekron of the Philistines: Recent Excavations at an Urban Border Site". The Biblical Archaeologist 50 (4): 197–222. doi:10.2307/3210048. JSTOR 3210048.
- Al-Mukaddasi, translated by Le Strange, 1884, p.60
- Al-Mukaddasi, translated by le Strange, 1890, p.389
- Yakut, iii. 697, translated by le Strange, 1890, p.390
- Sharon, 1997, pp. 107-109
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 153
- The inscription was noted in 1950 by Mayer, but has since "disappeared" according to Sharon, 1997, p. 109
- Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, pp. 21-25. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 360.
- Guérin, 1869, pp. 36-44
- Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p.408. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 521
- Barron, 1923, Table VII, p. 21
- Mills, 1932, p. 19
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 114
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 164
- אודות קרית עקרון [About Kiryat Ekron] (in Hebrew). Kiryat Ekron local council. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aqir.|
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922 (PDF). Government of Palestine.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1882). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 2. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Guérin, Victor (1869). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 1: Judee, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (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. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
- Khalidi, Walid (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas (PDF). Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.
- Al-Muqaddasi, 1884, Description of Syria, including Palestine translated by Le Strange
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838 3. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- le Strange, Guy (1890). Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Sharon, Moshe (1997). Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, A 1. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-10833-5.
- Welcome To 'Aqir
- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 16: IAA, Wikimedia commons
- 'Aqir, from the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center