Kirad al-Baqqara

Kirad al-Baqqara — كِراد البَقّارَة
Average Elevation
125 m
Distance from Safad
11 km
Year Arab Total
1944/45 360
1931 245
Land Ownership (1944/45) in dunums
Year Arab Jewish Public Total
1944/45 2141 121 2262
Land Use (1944/45) in dunums
Use Arab Jewish Total
Non-Cultivable & Built-up (Total)
Use Arab Total
Non-Cultivable 120 120
120 120 (5%)
Cultivable (Total)
Use Arab Jewish Total
Cereal 1961 121 2082
Plantation and Irrigable 60 60
2021 121 2142 (95%)
Number of Houses (1931)

The village stood on a volcanic (basalt) outcrop on the southern edge of the al-Hula Plain, surrounded by the sedimentary rock typical of this part of the Lisan Formation. Kirad al-Baqqara was east of Kirad al-Ghannama and was slightly less elevated; Wadi Mushayrifa ran between them. Both villages were initially populated by Bedouin who had settled in the area to take advantage of the fertile soil and abundant grasses. They had used the land as pasture for cattle and sheep, hence the village names: Baqqara (derived from the Arabic baqara, "cow") and Ghannama (from ghanama, "sheep"). Kirad al-Baqqara was classified in the Mandate Palestine Index Gazetteer as a hamlet, and its entire population was Muslim. It shared a coeducational school with its twin village. Various grains (especially those used as cattle fodder, such as corn) were the primary crop, but citrus fruits and onions were cultivated as well. In 1944/45 a total of 1,961 dunums was allocated to cereals and 60 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards. (See also the twin village of Kirad al-Ghannama.)

Kirad al-Baqqara is mentioned as one of several villages evacuated in the first week of Operation Yiftach (see Abil al-Qamh, Safad District) due to 'Jewish attacks-mortaring or ground assaults-and fear of Jewish revenge or of becoming embroiled in others' battles,' In this particular case, the villagers 'feared being in harm's way during the expected Syrian invasion,' according to Israeli historian Benny Morris, paraphrasing a Haganah intelligence report. This explanation is somewhat suspect since the villagers are believed to have left on 22 April 1948, over three weeks before the entry of Syrian troops into Palestine. In any case, the Yiftach evacuation was either temporary or incomplete, or both. Over a year later, in July 1949, Morris reports that Israeli efforts were underway to evict the villagers again. This effort was by no means a strictly military operation, since the war was long over and the village fell within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), according to the armistice agreement signed with Syria. The agreement included a provision protecting some seven villages located within the DMZ; nevertheless, between 1949 and 1956 pressure was applied to 'induce' most of the population of these villages to go into exile in Syria. By 1956, the DMZ's 2,200 inhabitants had been pushed out by a combination of 'economic and police pressure and 'petty persecution,' and economic incentives ... ' according to Morris.

There are no Israeli settlements on village lands. However, the settlements of Gadot (205269) and Mishmar ha-Yarden (206267), both founded in 1949, are 1 km east and 1.5 km south of the village site, respectively.

The village site is littered with rubble, piles of stones, and fragments of houses. Grass, Christ's-thorn trees, and cactuses grow throughout the site.