PLace

Abil al-Qamh

Place
Abil al-Qamh — آبِل القَمْح
District
Galilee
Subdistrict
Safad
Average Elevation
350 m
Distance from Safad
32 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 229
1944/45 330 330
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 3116 1327 172 4615
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable 269 4 170 443
Built-up 13
282 4 170 456 (10%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Cereal 2535 1320 2 3857
Plantation and Irrigable 299 3 302
2834 1323 2 4159 (90%)
Number of Houses (1931)
58

The village was built in a hilly area north of the aI-Hula Plain, a short distance east of a highway that led north to al-Mutilla (some 3 km away) and south to Safad.1t was about1 km from the Lebanese border and had been part of Lebanon until 1923, when it was annexed to Palestine under the British Mandate. One of the meanings of the first part of the name, which came from a Semitic root, is 'meadow.' The second part, qamh, means 'wheat' in Arabic. Abil al-Qamh was established on a site that had been inhabited as early as 2900 B.C. and that remained populated for at least 2,000 years. This was the location of one of the cities that was captured by Thutmose III in 1468 B.C. During the reign of David it became a fortified place that was later captured by the Arameans. Assyrian inscriptions mentioned Abel-Beth-Ma'aka as one of the towns they captured in 733 or 734 B.C. The name of Abil al-Qamh next appears much later, in a work by the Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi (d. 1228). In 1596, Abil al-Qamh was a village in the nahiya of Tibnin (liwa' of Safad) with a population of 143. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, and olives, as well as on other types of produce and property such as goats, beehives, and vineyards.

In the late nineteenth century, Abil al-Qamh was situated near a stream and surrounded by arable land. There was a church in the village and ancient ruins stood nearby. In modern times the village had a triangular outline that conformed to the contours of the hill on which it was built. The village houses were made of a combination of mud and stone, concrete and stone, or concrete. Its population consisted of 230 Muslims and 100 Christians. Agriculture was the mainstay of the village economy. In 1944/45 a total of 2,535 dunums was allocated to cereals and 299 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. The wheat fields that ringed the site of the village, well-known for their fertility, benefited from abundant water. The water was so plentiful that the people of the region sometimes called the village Abil al-Mayya ('the meadow of water'). In addition to other ruins in the vicinity, an archaeological site, located east of the village near Kefar Gil'adi (203294), contained rock-hewn tombs, granite tools, and tombstones.

An Israeli intelligence report issued at the end of June 1948 claimed that the village was evacuated on 10 May 1948. The occupation of eastern Galilee during this period was assigned to various Zionist forces, mainly the Palmach's First Battalion, within the scope of Operation Yiftach.

In 1952, Israel established the settlement of Yuval (206294) on village land, about 1.5 km from the site. Yuval is near the border of the village land of al-Zuq al-Fawqani.

The village site is overgrown with grasses and weeds. A grove of trees stands in the northeast corner and stones from destroyed houses are strewn throughout the site. The surrounding land is used as pasture.