House belonging to Abdullah Abedalmajeed Alsadek in Dayr al-Qassi
|Name meaning||The convent of Wady el Kasy|
|Also spelled||Deir al-Qasi Deir el-Kasy|
|Date of depopulation||30 October 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation||Military assault by Yishuv forces|
|Current localities||Mattat, Elkosh, Abirim, Netu'a|
The village was located 26 km northeast of the city of Acre, on a rocky hill about 5 km south of the Lebanese border. It was linked by a paved road to Fassuta in the north and Tarshiha in the southwest. The road divided the town into an eastern and one western quarter, or haras, the eastern quarter being higher up.
The first part of the village name, Dayr ("monastery") suggest that the village might have had a monastery and a Christian population. However, in modern times the population was Muslim. According to the residents of the village, ancient artifacts from the Canaanite, Israelite and Roman period were unearthed in the Ottoman and British Mandate period.
In the Crusader era it was known as Cassie, and in 1183 it was noted that Godfrey de Tor sold the land of the village to Joscelin III. In 1220 Jocelyn III´s daughter Beatrix de Courtenay and her husband Otto von Botenlauben, Count of Henneberg, sold their land, including Cassie, to the Teutonic Knights.
Dayr al-Qassi was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 and it belonged to the Jira Nahiya (Subdistrict of Jira), part of the Safad Sanjak (District of Safed), In 1596, Dayr al-Qassi had a population of 132. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and barley, as well as on goats and beehives.
In the early 18th century, Dayr al-Qassi was a fortified village controlled by a local sheikh (chief) named Abd al-Khaliq Salih. In 1740, Sheikh Zahir al-Umar, an Arab mutasallim (tax collector) from the al-Zayadina clan whose strength was growing throughout the Galilee, struggled to gain control of Dayr al-Qassi. Later that year, he made the village part of his domain by marrying Sheikh Salih's daughter, thereby sealing an alliance with the latter's clan. In late 1767, Zahir's son Ali of Safad requested control of Dayr al-Qassi from his father after his request for Dayr Hanna was rejected. Zahir refused and the two entered into an armed conflict, which Zahir won. Nonetheless, Zahir pardoned Ali and ultimately ceded the village to him.
The French explorer, Victor Guérin, visited Dayr al-Qassi in 1875, and he estimated that the village had 350 Muslim inhabitants. In the late nineteenth century, Dayr al-Qassi was described in the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine as being situated on a ridge, encircled by fig trees, olive trees and arable land. It then had a population of about 200.
British Mandate period
At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate, Dair Wal Qasi had a population of 663, all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census, when Deir el Qasi had a population of 865, still all Muslims, living in a total of 169 houses.
Later, Dayr al-Qassi was mostly Muslim but had a large Palestinian Christian minority. According to the 1945 census it had 1,250 inhabitants; 370 Christians and 880 Muslims. Together with the two villages of Fassuta (existent) and al-Mansura, the population was 2,300 and their total land area was 34,011 dunums. 1,607 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 6,475 used for cereals, while 247 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
1948 war and aftermath
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Dayr al-Qassi was defended by the Arab Liberation Army but the village was captured by the Israeli Army during its offensive Operation Hiram on October 30, 1948. The village's residents were expelled on 27 May 1949 and most migrated north into Lebanon. By June, 1949, it was noted that the whole northern area had been "Judaised", including Tarshiha, Suhmata, Dayr al-Qassi, Tarbikha, Meiron, Al-Sammu'i, Safsaf and Al-Ras al-Ahmar.
Elkosh, established in 1949, occupies part of the village site. Netu'a, founded in 1966, Mattat, founded in 1979 and Abirim, founded in 1980, are also on village land. Netu'a is near the neighboring village of al-Mansura.
The Palestinian historian, Walid Khalidi, described the remaining structures on the village land in 1992: "A few stone houses still are used as residences or warehouses by the inhabitants of Elqosh. The debris of destroyed houses is strewn over the site. The school building stands deserted. Fig and olive trees and cactuses grow on the site." In 2004, some of the remains of the village were removed by mechanical equipment during excavations by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
In 2000, a book about the village history was published by Ibrahim Khalil Uthman.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 71
- Morris, 2004, p. xvii, village #63. Also gives cause of depopulation.
- Guérin, 1880, p. 71
- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 4
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 13
- Morris, 2004, p. xxii, settlement #182
- Khalidi, 1992, p. 12
- Strehlke, 1869, pp. 15-16, No. 16; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 125, No. 624; cited in Frankel, 1988, pp. 257, 264
- Strehlke, 1869, pp. 43- 44, No. 53; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 248, No. 934; cited in Frankel, 1988, pp. 257, 264.
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 177. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 12
- Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
- Joudah, 1987, p. 24.
- Joudah, 1987, p. 53.
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p.197. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 12
- Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Safad, p. 41
- Mills, 1932, p. 106.
- Village Statistics April 1945, The Palestine Government Archived June 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., p. 2
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 40
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 80
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 130
- Morris, 2004, pp. 381-382, note #226
- Braun, 2004, Elqosh Archive Report- Final Report
- Davis, 2011, p. 285
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine.
- Braun, Eliot (2004-06-09). "Elqosh Archive Report- Final Report" (116). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, Herbert H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology. 1. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Davis, Rochelle (2011). Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-7313-3.
- Department of Statistics (1945). Village Statistics, April, 1945. Government of Palestine.
- Frankel, Rafael (1988). "Topographical notes on the territory of Acre in the Crusader period". Israel Exploration Journal. 38 (4): 249–272.
- Guérin, Victor (1880). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 3: Galilee, 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.
- Joudah, Ahmad Hasan (1987). Revolt in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: The Era of Shaykh Zahir Al-ʻUmar. Kingston Press. ISBN 9780940670112.
- Lerer, Yoav (2011-04-13). "Elqosh Final Report" (123). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. 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.
- Rhode, Harold (1979). Administration and Population of the Sancak of Safed in the Sixteenth Century. Columbia University.
- Röhricht, Reinhold (1893). (RRH) Regesta regni Hierosolymitani (MXCVII-MCCXCI) (in Latin). Berlin: Libraria Academica Wageriana.
- Strehlke, Ernst, ed. (1869). Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici ex tabularii regii Berolinensis codice potissimum. Berlin: Weidmanns.
- Uthman, Ibrahim Khalil. Dayr al-Qasi: Zanbaqa Khalil al-awsat al-gharbi. Tyre, Lebanon, n.p.