PLace

al-Nahr

Place
al-Nahr — النَهر
District
Galilee
Subdistrict
Acre
Average Elevation
65 m
Distance from Acre
14 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1931 522
1944/45 610 610
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Public Total
1944/45 5243 18 5261
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 118 18 136
Built-up 28 28
146 18 164 (3%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Total
Cereal 1094 1094
Plantation and Irrigable 1937 1937
Citrus and Bananas 2066 2066
5097 5097 (97%)
Number of Houses (1931)
120

The village, a twin of al-Tall, was situated on a sandy, slightly elevated mound which, like many other tells in Palestine, was the site of an ancient settlement. Recent investigations by Aaron Kempinsky indicate that both al-Nahr and its sister village of al-Tall, to the west, stood on archaeological debris that dated back to the eighteenth century B.C. Al-Nahr was established on an archaeological site called Tall al-Qahwa ('the mound of coffee'); the 1904 Ottoman Yearbook for Beirut referred to the site as belonging to the villages of Tall and Qahwa. It was in the eastern part of the coastal plain in the Galilee region and lay on the Tarshiha–Nahariyya–Acre highway. It had a rectangular layout and a southeast–northwest orientation. Its houses were built from a variety of materials―stone blocks and cement or mud mortar or reinforced concrete―and were bunched close together. Al-Nahr's entire population was Muslim. Agriculture and animal husbandry were the principal sources of livelihood for the villagers. In 1944/45 a total of 2,066 dunums was devoted to citrus and bananas and 1,094 dunums were allocated to cereals; 1,937 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, of which 30 dunums were planted in olive trees.

Along with a series of villages in western Galilee, north of Acre, al-Nahr was captured on 20–21 May 1948, during the second phase of Operation Ben-Ami. The day before launching the incursion, the commander of the Haganah's Carmeli Brigade ordered his battalion commanders 'to attack in order to conquer, to kill among the men, to destroy and burn the villages of Al Kabri, Umm al Faraj and An Nahr.'

Morris indicates that the Israeli settlement that replaced the village in 1949 is Ben 'Ammi, named after Ben 'Ammi Pechter, the Haganah commander who had been killed in a skirmish close to nearby Nahariyya in March 1948; the military operation in which al-Nahr was seized was also named after him. Another settlement, Kabri, makes use of the village lands.

Only two houses remain, and one of them is partially destroyed. A tall date–palm tree grows on the village site, which is overgrown by wild grasses, a few cactuses, and fig trees. The cemetery, on the western side of the village, contains one identifiable grave. The nearby Fawwara spring has been fenced in and declared private property.

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