Kafr 'Ana

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Kafr 'Ana
Kafr 'Ana mosque
Kafr 'Ana is located in Mandatory Palestine
Kafr 'Ana
Kafr 'Ana
Arabic كفرعانا
Name meaning The village of Ana[1]
Also spelled Kafar Ana
Subdistrict Jaffa
Coordinates 32°1′38″N 34°52′5″E / 32.02722°N 34.86806°E / 32.02722; 34.86806Coordinates: 32°1′38″N 34°52′5″E / 32.02722°N 34.86806°E / 32.02722; 34.86806
Palestine grid 137/159
Population 3,020[2][3] (1945)
Area 17,553[3] dunams
17.6 km²
Date of depopulation April 25, 1948[4]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Neve Monosson[5] Or Yehuda[5]

Kafr 'Ana' (Arabic: كفرئنا‎‎, also: Kafr Ana) was a Palestinian town located 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) east of Jaffa, built on the ancient site of Ono. In 1945, the town had an estimated population of 2,800 Arabs and 220 Jews. Captured by the pre-state Jewish forces of the Alexandroni Brigade prior to the outbreak of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, it was depopulated.


The Canaanites and Israelites referred to the town as Ono (1 Chronicles 8:12), which name continued all throughout the First and Second Temple periods.[6]

Byzantine period[edit]

Jewish classical writings mention the city as being formerly enclosed by a wall.[7][8] Kafr 'Ana was known as Onous in the Byzantine era,[9] and ceramics from that era have been found here.[10]

Ottoman period[edit]

During early Ottoman rule in Palestine, the revenues of the village of Kafr 'Ana were in 1557 designated for the new waqf of Hasseki Sultan Imaret in Jerusalem, established by Hasseki Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent.[11] In 1596, Kafr 'Ana appeared in the census located in the Nahiya of Ramla of the Liwa of Gazza. The population was 11 households, all Muslim. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, vineyards, fruit trees, sesame, goats and beehives; in addition to occasional revenues, a total of 26,800 Akçe. All of the revenue went to a waqf.[12]

French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1863 and noted that "near the village are two shallow basins hollowed in rock, not built up, which receive the winter rains. Several wells are here as well, which permit the gardens to be irrigated. By the side of one of these wells I observed trunks of columns which seemed ancient."[13]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Kafr 'Ana as a village built of adobe bricks and surrounded by palm trees.[14]

British Mandate period[edit]

Kafr 'Ana 1932, 1:20,000

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kufr Ana had a population of 1,374 inhabitants, all Muslims.[15] increasing the 1931 census to 1,824, still all Muslims, in a total of 449 houses.[16]

The villagers grew crops and raised poultry and bees. In 1944/45 a total 2,214 dunums were used for growing citrus and bananas, while 11,022 dunums of village land was used for cereals. 597 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards,[9][17] while 90 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[18]

State of Israel[edit]

Interior of village mosque, 2011

The village of Kafr 'Ana was depopulated in the weeks leading up to the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, during the Haganah's offensive Mivtza Hametz (Operation Hametz) 28–30 April 1948. This operation was held against a group of villages east of Jaffa, including Kafr 'Ana. According to the preparatory orders, the objective was for "opening the way [for Jewish forces] to Lydda". Though there was no explicit mention of the prospective treatment of the villagers, the order spoke of "cleansing the area" [tihur hashetah].[19] The final operational order stated: "Civilian inhabitants of places conquered would be permitted to leave after they are searched for weapons."[20]

On 23 September 1948 General Avner named Kafr 'Ana as a suitable village for settlement for new Jewish immigrants ("olim") to Israel.[21] Today, the modern Israeli city, Or Yehuda, is built upon the lands formerly belonging to Kafr 'Ana and Saqiya village and Kheiriya village.[22] Or Yehuda was founded in 1950, on village land, south of the village site.[5]


A woman's thob (loose fitting robe with sleeves), from Kafr Ana, from the 1930s, is in the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) collection at Santa Fe, United States. The dress is of white commercial cotton and the embroidery is multicolored cotton, mainly in red and blue. The qabbeh (the square chest panel) is not a separate panel, but instead executed directly on the dress. The embroidery on the skirt and sleeves is also done directly on the dress. There is some machine embroidery, but most is by hand. The dress has an uncommon round neckline, which was an innovation and was only used here and in the village of Salama, near Jaffa.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 215
  2. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 27
  3. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 52
  4. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xviii, village #218. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  5. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1882, p. 248
  6. ^ Christie, W.M. (1925). "The Jamnia Period in Jewish History". The Journal of Theological Studies. 26 (104): 348. JSTOR 23950037. (Registration required (help)). ;Maisler (Mazar), Benjamin (1932). "The Method of Transcribing Geographical and Personal Names". Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects: 19. JSTOR 24384308. (Registration required (help)). ; Shmuel Klein, Eretz Yehudah (Heb. ארץ יהודה : מימי העליה מבבל עד חתימת התלמוד), Tel-Aviv 1939, s.v. אונו (Ono)
  7. ^ Mishnah (Arakhin 9:6).
  8. ^ Ishtori Haparchi, Kaphtor u'ferach (ed. Avraham Yosef Havatzelet), vol. II, chapter 11, s.v. מלוד לאונו, (3rd edition) Jerusalem 2007, p. 75 (note 265), who cites Mishna Arakhin 9:6 as proof of antiquity (Hebrew).
  9. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p. 247
  10. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 824
  11. ^ Singer, 2002, p.52
  12. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 156. Note that Khalidi, 1992, p. 247 here mixed this Kafr 'Ana up with a Kafr Ana in the Jerusalem district; Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 119
  13. ^ Guérin, 1868, p. 320, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 265
  14. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, 251. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 247
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jaffa, p. 20
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 14.
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 95
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 145
  19. ^ HGS\Operations to Alexandroni, etc., "Orders for Operation "Hametz", 26 April 1948. IDFA 6647\49\\15. Cited in Morris, 2004, pp. 217, 286
  20. ^ Operation Hametz HQ to Givati, etc., 27 April 1948, 14:00 hours, IDFA 67\51\\677. See also Alexandroni to battalions, 27 April 1948, IDFA 922\75\\949. Cited in Morris, 2004, pp. 217, 286
  21. ^ Protocol of Meeting of Military Government Committee, 23 September 1948, ISA FM 2564\11. Cited in Morris, 2004, pp. 394, 413
  22. ^ Khalidi, 1992, pp. 247-248; Carta's Official Guide to Israel, Jerusalem 1983, p. 358.
  23. ^ Stillman, 1979, p.70


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