Neby Burk, in 1898
|Name meaning||sandy ground covered with flint|
|Date of depopulation||May 13, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
Barqa (Arabic: برقة, Hebrew: ברקה) was a Palestinian Arab village located 37 km north of Gaza near the modern-day Israeli city of Ashdod. It was referred to as Barka by the Greeks and Bareca by the Romans during their rule over the ancient Philistine city. In 1945, the village had a population of 890 and total land area of 5,206 dunums.
It is likely that Barqa was built on the site of the Greek town of Barka, which the Romans called Baraca. The villagers were Muslim, and around the village mosque were a number of tombs that they referred to as the tombs of Shaykh Muhammad, Shaykh Zarruq, and the prophet (al-nabi) Barq.
A burial chamber with four arcosolia have been uncovered at Barqa. It contained three pottery lamps, dated to the late Roman or Byzantine era, and two Byzantine glass vessels, dated to fifth century CE. The village was a major centre in the Byzantine era. In 511 CE a richly decorated basilica church was built, with a mosaic floor. It was in use until the seventh century.
Barqa, like the rest of Palestine, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and in the census of 1596, the village was located in the nahiya of Gazza in the liwa of Gazza. It had a population of 12 households, all Muslim. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, fruit trees and sesame; the taxes totalled 2,100 akçe.
In 1863 Victor Guérin visited and noted, lying beside a well, several trunks of greyish marble. A kubbeh was here, dedicated to Neby Barak, and surrounded by tombs. An Ottoman village list from about 1870 showed that Burka had a population of 202, with a total of 80 houses, though the population count included men, only.
British Mandate of Palestine
In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Burqa had a population of 448 inhabitants, all Muslims, which had increased in the 1931 census to 600, 593 Muslim, 6 Jews and 1 Christian, in a total of in 123 houses.
In 1945 the population of Barqa consisted of 890, all Muslims, and the land area was 5,206 dunams, according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 667 dunams were designated for citrus and bananas, 47 for plantations and irrigable land, 4,031 for cereals, while 26 dunams were built-up areas.
1948, and after
Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi, the village remaining structures on the village land are:
"Two houses remain standing on the site. One serves as a warehouse; it is made of concrete and has a covered portico on two sides. The other, a stone house with rectangular doors and windows and a flat roof, stands deserted in the midst of wild vegetation. The site is overgrown with weeds interspersed with cactuses and eucalyptus and palm trees. Israelis cultivate the land around the site"
- Gautier, 1898, p. 95
- Palmer, 1881, p. 267
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 31
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 45
- Morris, 2004, p. xix, village #280.Also gives cause of depopulation
- Khalidi, 1992, pp. 82-83
- Volynsky, 2010, Barqa (North)
- Sion, Rapuano, Habas and Di Segni, 2010, Barqa
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 147
- Guérin, 1869, pp. 68-70; as given by Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 420
- Socin, 1879, p. 149
- Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 409. Cited in Khalidi, 1992, p. 84
- Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Gaza, p. 9
- Mills, 1932, p. 2
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 86
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 136
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 83
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Ben-Ari, Chen (2012-02-14). "Barqa, Gan Yavne" (124). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- 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.
- Dauphin, Claudine (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations. BAR International Series 726 (in French). III : Catalogue. Oxford: Archeopress. ISBN 0-860549-05-4. p. 862
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Gautier, Lucien (1898). Souvenirs de Terre-Sainte (in French) (2 ed.). Lausanne: Georges Bridel.
- Gonen, Ilana (2014-06-23). "Barqa (South)" (126). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sion, Ofer; Rapuano, Yehudah; Di Segni, Leah (2010-09-05). "Barqa" (122). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 2: 135–163.
- Torge, Hagit (2006-07-02). "Barqa (North)" (118). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Torge, Hagit (2006-08-03). "Barqa (East)" (118). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Volynsky, Felix (2010-01-03). "Barqa (North)" (122). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.