Kafr Qasim

Coordinates: 32°06′54″N 34°58′30″E / 32.1151°N 34.9751°E / 32.1151; 34.9751
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Kafr Qasim
  • כַּפְר קָסִם, כפר קאסם
  • كفر قاسم
City (from 2008)
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259Kpar Qásim, Kpar Qáˀsem
 • Also spelledKafar Qasem (official)
Kufur Kassem (unofficial)
Roundabout in Kafr Qasim with a monument for the massacre in 1956, the central mosque with another monument, and mixed-used buildings.
Roundabout in Kafr Qasim with a monument for the massacre in 1956, the central mosque with another monument, and mixed-used buildings.
Official logo of Kafr Qasim
Kafr Qasim is located in Central Israel
Kafr Qasim
Kafr Qasim
Kafr Qasim is located in Israel
Kafr Qasim
Kafr Qasim
Coordinates: 32°06′54″N 34°58′30″E / 32.1151°N 34.9751°E / 32.1151; 34.9751
Grid position148/168 PAL
Country Israel
Original settlementNeolithic
Modern city2008
 • MayorHaitam Taha
 • Total9,154 dunams (9.154 km2 or 3.534 sq mi)
 • Total24,757
 • Density2,700/km2 (7,000/sq mi)
Name meaningThe village of Kasim[2]

Kafr Qasim (Arabic: كفر قاسم, Hebrew: כַּפְר קָאסִם), also spelled as Kafr Qassem, Kufur Kassem, Kfar Kassem and Kafar Kassem, is a hill-top city in Israel with an Arab population. It is located about 20 km (12 mi) east of Tel Aviv, on the Israeli side of the Green Line separating Israel and the West Bank, in the southern portion of the "Little Triangle" of Arab-Israeli towns and villages. In 2021 its population was 24,757.[1] The town was the site of the Kafr Qasim massacre, in which the Israel Border Police killed 49 civilians on October 29, 1956. On February 12, 2008, Israeli Minister of the Interior Meir Sheetrit declared Kafr Qasim a city in a ceremony held at the town.


The town's area was populated in ancient times, based on remains from the Middle Paleolithic period found in the Qesem Cave.[3] Cisterns, a winepress and terraced fields have also been documented,[4] together with remains from the Byzantine era.[5]

Kafr Qasim is identified with Kefar Kesem (Hebrew: כפר קסם), a site mentioned in the Tosefta as home to a pagan holy tree.[6]

Ottoman Empire[edit]

In 1838, during the Ottoman period, it was noted as a Muslim village, Kefr Kasim, in Jurat Merda, south of Nablus.[7]

Charles van de Velde visited the site in 1851–52, noting "the many ancient stones used in the construction of the present houses and many other remains indicating an ancient site."[8]

In 1870 Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called Kafr Kasim. He found the place to be "the site of a more ancient town, as is shown by cisterns and the mass of rubbish found outside the present village".[9] The village had about four hundred inhabitants.[10]

In 1882, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine described the village as being of moderate size, with buildings constructed principally of adobe, on low hill in open ground. The survey also noted the existence of a rock-cut tomb to the south of the village.[11]

British Mandate[edit]

In 1917, during World War I, Kafr Qasim (together with the rest of the area) was captured from the ruling Ottoman Empire by the British Army and was later placed under the British Mandate of Palestine.

In the 1922 census of Palestine Kufr Quasem had a population of 661, all Muslims,[12] increasing in the 1931 census to 989, still all Muslims, in a total of 241 houses.[13]

In 1945 the population of Kafr Qasim was 1,460, all Muslims,[14] who owned 12,765 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[15] 239 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 491 were plantations and irrigable land, and 8,980 were planted with cereals,[16] while 58 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[17]

Kafr Qasim in 1941


Mayor Adel Badir and President Reuven Rivlin at City Hall in 2018.

20th century[edit]

Israeli military advances came to a halt at Kafr Qasim during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. In 1949, Israel annexed the town in accordance with the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

On October 29, 1956, on the eve of the joint Israeli, French and British invasion of Egypt, Israel moved up the time of the local curfew as it was concerned that nearby Jordan would enter the fighting.[18] After the curfew started, a platoon of Israeli border police who had been sent to the area encountered and killed 49 villagers returning to Kafr Qasim from their work in the fields. Though the village head had been informed a half an hour before the military curfew started, he informed the Israeli commander that the fellahin and shepherds could not be notified in time that the curfew had been imposed.[19] The incident became known as the Kafr Qasim massacre. In October 2021, the President of Israel Isaac Herzog made an official apology for the 1956 massacre, on behalf of the state.[20]

In 1959, the town was granted local council status by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

21st century[edit]

Sheikh Abdullah Nimar Darwish started the Islamic Movement. Israeli parliamentarian Sheikh Ibrahim Sarsur, a native of Kafr Qasim, served for a decade on the town council and heads the southern faction of the Islamic Movement of Israel since 1999. In December 2007, President Shimon Peres formally apologised for the Kafr Qasim massacre.[21]

In 2007 development plans for the industrial and logistical area Lev HaAretz were approved. Development started in 2008.[22] Steimatzky is one of many companies who moved into this area.[22] Also in 2008, the Ministry of the Interior announced that Kafr Qasim would become a city.[23]


According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had 21,100 mostly Muslim inhabitants at the end of 2012.[24] There are 936 females for every 1,000 males. The population increases at an annual rate of 2.7%.

The social-economic rank of the town is relatively low (3 out of 10). Only 50.2% of 12th graders were eligible for graduation (Bagrut) certificates in 2000. The average monthly wage in 2000 was 3,633 NIS, as opposed to the national average of 6,835 NIS at that time.

Kfar Qassem Football Stadium (under construction) Designed by Moti Bodek Architects


Kafr Qasim served as the primary filming location for the Israeli political thriller television series Fauda.


F.C. Kafr Qasim plays in the Leumit League (second division). Following their promotion to the national league, it plays home matches at the Lod Municipal Stadium in Lod. A new stadium is under construction.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Regional Statistics". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 230
  3. ^ Khalaily, 2005, Kafr Qasim (East)
  4. ^ Zbenovich et al., 2005, Kafr Qasim, Development Survey
  5. ^ Tendler, 2015, Kafr Qasim (East)
  6. ^ Avi-Yonah, Michael (1976). "Gazetteer of Roman Palestine". Qedem. 5: 72. ISSN 0333-5844.
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 126
  8. ^ van der Velde, 1858, p. 109
  9. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 141, as cited in Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 324
  10. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 141
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 285
  12. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Nablus p. 26
  13. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 64
  14. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 21
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 75
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 126
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 176
  18. ^ Spencer C. Tucker, Priscilla Roberts, 2008, The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History, p. 567
  19. ^ Baruch Kimmerling,The Palestinian People:A History, Harvard University Press 2009 p.195.
  20. ^ "Israel's President Apologizes for 1956 Kafr Qasem Massacre". Haaretz.
  21. ^ President Peres apologizes for Kafr Qasem massacre of 1956 Haaretz, 21 December 2007
  22. ^ a b "Industry – החברה הכלכלית כפר קאסם".
  23. ^ Majadele: New Arab city will bolster our sense of belonging
  24. ^ "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 1,000 Residents and Other Rural Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2014-04-12.


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