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Tulayl is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic تليل
Name meaning The small mound.[1]
Subdistrict Safad
Coordinates 33°03′03″N 35°37′12″E / 33.05083°N 35.62000°E / 33.05083; 35.62000Coordinates: 33°03′03″N 35°37′12″E / 33.05083°N 35.62000°E / 33.05083; 35.62000
Palestine grid 208/272
Population 340 (together with Husayniyya)[2] (1945)
Area 5,324 dunams
5.3 km²
Date of depopulation late April 1948[3]

Tulayl (Arabic: تليل‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Safad Subdistrict located 14.5 kilometers (9.0 mi) northeast of Safad. It was situated on small, sandy hill on the southwestern shore of Lake Hula, near the merging of two wadis. Together with the nearby village of al-Husayniyya, it had a population of 340 in 1945. Tulayl was depopulated during the 1948 Palestine War.[4]


Scholars identify the mound upon which Tulayl was built with the Roman town of "Thella".[4][5] Its hilltop location protected it from floods. The 1st-century historian, Josephus, mentions the village in his day with reference to the extent of Upper Galilee and which stretched "in length from Meroth to Thella, a village near Jordan."[6][7]

Ottoman era[edit]

Under the Ottoman Empire, in 1596, Tulayl was a part of the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Jira, under the administration of Safad Sanjak, with a population of 215, or 36 households and 3 bachelors, all Muslims. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, bees, and water buffalos; a total of 3,107 Akçe. 1/12 of the revenue went to a Waqf.[8][9]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described the place as having "modern cattle-sheds and traces of ruins of basaltic stone".[10] Its houses, closely packed together, were constructed from adobe and cane.[4] In the second half of the 19th century, after the Algerian followers of Abdelkader El Djezairi had been defeated by the French in Algeria, they sought refuge in another part of the Ottoman Empire, and were given lands in various locations in Ottoman Syria, including Tulayl, and the nearby villages of Dayshum, Ammuqa, Al-Husayniyya and Marus.[11]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Tulail had a population of 196; all Muslims.[12] In the 1931 census it was counted with al-Husayniyya, and together they had a population of 274, still all Muslims, in a total of 64 houses.[13]

During this period Tulayl expanded westward and by the 1940s approached the village of al-Husayniyya, itself having expanded eastward. Thus, the two virtually had become one village sharing the same services, including the only school. The entire population, engaged mostly in agriculture, raising water buffalo, and fishing, was Muslim.[4]

In the 1945 statistics the village area comprised a total area of 5,324 dunams.[2] A large number of inhabitants were employed in cereal farming.[14]

Types of land use in dunams in the village in 1945:[14][15]

Land Usage Arab Jewish
Irrigated and plantation 22 0
Cereal 3,388 1,637
Urban 48 0
Cultivable 3,410 1,637
Non-cultivable 113,116

The land ownership of the village before occupation in dunams:[2]

Owner Dunams
Arab 3,556
Jewish 1,753
Public 15
Total 5,324

1948, and aftermath[edit]

Like most villages in the area, Tulayl was captured by Israel during its offensive Operation Yiftach in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Israeli historian Benny Morris speculates it was seized in April 1948. According to Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi in 1992, "The village site is thickly covered with grass and other vegetation, including some eucalyptus and palm trees. Only one old stone house, with an arched doorway, remains standing.[4]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 96
  2. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 71
  3. ^ Morris, 2004, p. xvi, village #37. Morris gives date and cause of depopulation with "?"
  4. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p. 500
  5. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 209
  6. ^ M. Aviam & P. Richardson, "Josephus' Galilee in Archaeological Perspective", published in: Steve Mason, Flavius Josephus: translation and commentary, vol. 9, Leiden ; Boston : Brill 2000–2008, pp. 177–201
  7. ^ Josephus, De Bello Judaico (Wars of the Jews) III, 35 (Wars of the Jews 3.3.1)
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 178. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 500
  9. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 257
  11. ^ Abbasi, 2007 (Hebrew). Non-Hebrew version in The Maghreb Review, 28(1), 2003 pp. 41-59.
  12. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Safad, p. 41
  13. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 107
  14. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 121
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 171


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