PLace

Khubbayza

Place
Khubbayza — خُبَّيْزَة
District
Haifa
Average Elevation
175 m
Subdistrict
Haifa
Distance from Haifa
29.5 km
Population
Year Arab Total
1944/45 290
1931 209
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 2828 2024 2 4854
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Public Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Public Total
Non-Cultivable 457 2 459
Built-up 11
468 2 470 (10%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 2295 2021 4316
Plantation and Irrigable 65 3 68
2360 2024 4384 (90%)
Number of Houses (1931)
42

The village stood on hilly terrain that sloped toward the southwest, about 1 km south of Wadi al-Sindiyana. Secondary roads led north and south from the village to highways connecting the coast with the plain of Marj ibn Amir. Its name was the Arabic term for mallow, a wild plant cooked as a vegetable in Palestinian peasant cuisine. In the late nineteenth century, Khubbayza had an estimated 270 residents who cultivated 24 faddans of land (1 faddan = 100-250 dunums; see Glossary). The village was oriented along a northeast-southwest axis, with stone houses built close together. Its inhabitants were Muslims. They obtained their domestic water from several springs and wells within the village's boundaries, and earned their living primarily from agriculture, growing grain and vegetables. In 1944/45 a total of 2,295 dunums was allotted to cereals; 65 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards, 20 dunums of which were for olives. They also engaged in animal husbandry. Khirbat al-Kalba, probably named after the Bedouin tribe of Bani Kalb, lay north of the village; it yielded traces of a human settlement.

The village was probably the victim of an early Haganah raid launched in the first few weeks of the war. An attack on a village that the New York Times called 'Habassa near Haifa' occurred on 1 January 1948. No figures for casualties were given, but the report stated that the attack was similar to the massacre carried out the same day at nearby Balad al-Shaykh. The cycle of violence had begun when the Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL) attacked a group of Palestinian workers at an oil refinery near Haifa on 30 December 1947.

The village was not occupied for several months, however. In the wake of the battle over the kibbutz of Mishrnar ha-Emeq , the Haganah proceeded to snap up a number of surrounding villages in mid-April 1948. In the following weeks, the IZL capitalized on these gains by attacking other villages in the same area. Khubbayza fell to IZL forces between 12 and 14 May. Most of the inhabitants of the region fled under mortar fire, according to IZL sources quoted by Israeli historian Benny Morris. But many were kept for a few days behind barbed wire and then expelled. It is not clear when Khubbayza was destroyed, but some villages in its vicinity were levelled by the Haganah after occupation and others were razed by the Jewish National Fund in June 1948.

There are no Israeli settlements on village lands. The closest settlement is Even Yitzchaq, which was founded in 1945 on lands originally belonging to the village of al-Butaymat, about 1 km east of the village site.

All that remains on the site is stone debris, scattered among thorny bushes, grass, and cactuses. Part of the surrounding land is cultivated and the rest serves as pasture.