|• ISO 259||ʔikksal, Ksalot Tabor|
Iksal, as seen from Nazareth Illit
|Grid position||180/232 PAL|
|• Type||Local council|
|• Total||9,000 dunams (9 km2 or 3 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||from Iksal, personal name|
مدرسة إكسال الثانوية
مدرسة إكسال الإعدادية
Iksal (Arabic: إكسال, Iksal; Hebrew: אִכְּסָאל, כִּסְלוֹת תָּבוֹר, Kislot Tavor) is an Arab local council in northern Israel, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast of Nazareth. It has an area of 9,000 dunams and a population of 13,961 primarily Muslim inhabitants.
Iksal was known to Josephus as Xaloth. Archaeological excavations in Iksal revealed artifacts from the period of Roman and Byzantine rule in Palestine. A ring decorated with the image of a lion was found and dates to one of these time periods. In burial caves carved into the rock, sarcophagi and ossuaries containing pottery, glass vessels, and jewelry were found. Also dated to the Byzantine period are agricultural installations, carved into the rock and plastered, inside of which were found part of a winepress.
In 536 a Council was held in Jerusalem to condemn Severus of Antioch and his followers. Present at that Council were 45 bishops from Palestine, including one Parthenius, bishop of Exalus, which is identified with Iksal. Thus we know the town had enough Christians in the 6th Century to warrant a bishop.
During the period of Crusader or Mamluk rule in Palestine, a castle was built in Iksal, the ruins of which remain visible today. The Crusaders probably added to a much older structure which had been constructed first in the Abbasid, and then in the Fatimid era. A large cemetery by the village was named Mukbarat el Afranj ("Cemetery of the Franks").
Yaqut al-Hamawi († 1229) described the place (which he called Aksal), as "A village in the Jordan Province, lying 5 leagues from Tiberias towards Ar Ramlah. The river Abu Futrus is in the neighbourhood."
In 1517, the village was included in the Ottoman empire with the rest of Palestine, and in the 1596 tax-records it appeared as Ksal, located in the Nahiya of Tabariyya of the Liwa of Safad. The population was 17 households and 1 bachelor, all Muslim. They paid a tax rate of 25% on agricultural products, which included wheat, barley, summer crops, fruit trees, occasional revenues, goats and beehives; a total of 6,633 Akçe.
In 1738 Richard Pococke passed by the place, which he called Zal. He noted that near it was "many sepulchres cut in the rock, some of them are like stone coffins above-ground, others are cut into the rock, like graves, some of them have stone covers over them, so that formerly this might be no inconsiderable place." A map from Napoleon's invasion of 1799 by Pierre Jacotin showed the place, named as Iksad.
In 1863 Henry Baker Tristram saw the remains of a "Crusader" tower in Iksal, while in 1875, Victor Guérin found it to have 400 inhabitants, all Muslim. In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Iksal as "a large stone village, built in the plains, with a conspicuous square tower, surrounded by gardens and containing about 400 Moslims, many caves and cisterns."
A population list from about 1887 showed that Iksal had about 600 Muslim inhabitants.
British Mandate era
In 1945 the population was 1,110, all Muslims, while the total land area was 16,009 dunams, according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 581 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 13,029 for cereals, while 47 dunams were classified as built-up areas.
1948 war and aftermath
Like many other Arab towns and villages in the Galilee that were left standing after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Iksal surrendered to Israeli forces without putting up a fight. Individuals who had collaborated with Zionist officials prior to Israel's establishment, negotiated the terms of surrender and transition to rule under the new military government.
According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a low ranking (3 out of 10) on the country's socioeconomic index (December 2001). Only 65.3% of students are entitled to a matriculation certificate after Grade 12 (2000). The average salary that year was NIS 3,640 per month, whereas the national average was NIS 6,835. Its population has grown at an annual rate of 2.8%. In Iksal, about 60 percent of the inhabitants are family relations of one another.
- "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 126
- HaReuveni, Immanuel (1999). Lexicon of the Land of Israel (in Hebrew). Miskal - Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed Books. p. 37. ISBN 965-448-413-7.
- Freedman et al, 2000, p. 236.
- Aharoni, 1979, pp. 120, 257.
- Armstrong, 2009, p. 42.
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 366
- Alexandre, 2008, Iksal, Final Report
- Chancey, 2005, p. 216.
- Bagatti, 2001, p. 217
- Gil, 1997, pp. 319-320
- Sharon, 2013, p. 302
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 385 ff
- le Strange, 1890, pp. 390-1
- Mokary, 2011, Iksal, Final report
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 187
- Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied from the Safad-district was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
- Pococke, 1745, vol II, p. 65
- Karmon, 1960, p. 167.
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- Trisdam, 1865, p. 124
- Guérin, 1880, pp. 108-109
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 363
- Schumacher, 1888, p. 184
- Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Nazareth, p. 38
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- Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 8
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 62
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