Khan al-Duwayr

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Khan al-Duwayr

خان الدوير
Etymology: Khân ed Duweir, the caravanserai of the little convent or circle[1]
Khan al-Duwayr is located in Mandatory Palestine
Khan al-Duwayr
Khan al-Duwayr
Coordinates: 33°14′22″N 35°40′19″E / 33.23944°N 35.67194°E / 33.23944; 35.67194Coordinates: 33°14′22″N 35°40′19″E / 33.23944°N 35.67194°E / 33.23944; 35.67194
Palestine grid213/293
Geopolitical entityMandatory Palestine
Date of depopulationNot known[3]
 • Total137[2]

Khan al-Duwayr (Arabic: خان الدوير‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on May 30, 1948 by the Palmach's First Battalion of Operation Yiftach. It was located 35 km northeast of Safad.


The village had a khirbat named Tall al-Qadi which lay about 1 km to the northwest of the village.[4]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1875 Victor Guérin noted it as a hamlet called ‘’Khan Doueir’’. A small wood of oaks and terebinths grew close to it.[5]

In 1881 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Khan ed Duweir as: "Two stone houses here contain about twenty Moslems; situated on slope of hill near the stream of water, with olives and arable cultivation around."[6]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1931 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, the population of Khan ed-Duwair was 137, all Muslims, in a total of 29 houses.[2]

In the 1945 statistics no Arabs were listed as inhabitants, while the nearby Dan had a population of 260,[7] and Arabs still owned 2,163 dunams of the land.[8] Of this, they used 2,067 for plantations and irrigable land, while 96 were used for cereals.[9]

1948, aftermath[edit]

On 12 April 1948, prior to the outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Israel Galili wrote to Yosef Weitz recommending that new settlements be established at the site of a number of Arab villages, including Khan al-Duwayr, 'as soon as possible'. Norman Finkelstein, quoting Benny Morris, notes this recommendation was made even though most of the sites had not yet been depopulated.[10][11]

On the 22 April, 1948, Haganah command agreed to provide the manpower to set up settlements on non−Arab land in several Arab villages; one of the villages mentioned was Khan al-Duwayr.[12]

According to the Israel–Syria Mixed Armistice Commission, Khan al-Duwayr was part of the DM after the 1948 war. Israel, however, gradually managed to evict all the Arab inhabitants of the DM zone, using a "stick and carrot" method.[13]

Dafna is located about 3 km southwest of the Khan al-Duwayr site, while Dan 2 km to the west of the site: neither is on village land.[4]

In 1992 the village site was described: "The site is deserted, overgrown with grass. Only the ruins of a khan (caravansary) are visible. The surrounding land is either cultivated by Israelis, or used as forest or pasture."[4]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 26
  2. ^ a b Mills, 1932, p. 107
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village # 390. Also gives both the date and cause for depopulation as "Not known"
  4. ^ a b c Khalidi, 1992, p. 464
  5. ^ Guerin, 1880, p. 336
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 88
  7. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 09
  8. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 69.
  9. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 118
  10. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 371, note #168, p. 405 Other places mention to be depopulated was Bayt Mahsir, Saris, Kafr Misr, Khirbet Manshiya, Tantura, Burayr and Mis [in the Galilee panhandle]
  11. ^ Finkelstein, 2003, pp. 72-73.
  12. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 372, note #176, p. 405 Other places mentioned was Kafr Misr, Ma'alul, Ashrafriya, and Daliyat al-Rawha'
  13. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 513, notes #55−60, p. 539


External links[edit]