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Title: Al-Butayha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Safad Subdistrict, Mandatory Palestine, Arab al-Shamalina, List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Palestinian exodus, Al-Jalama, Haifa, Al-Shuna
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Al-Butayha is located in Mandatory Palestine
Arabic البطيحة
Subdistrict Safad
Palestine grid 208/257
Population 650 (1945)
Area 16690 dunams
Date of depopulation May 4, 1948

Al-Butayha (Arabic: البطيحة‎) was a Palestinian Arab village in the Safad Subdistrict. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on May 4, 1948 by the Palmach's First Battalion during Operation Matateh. It was located 13 km southeast of Safad, quarter of a mile east of the Jordan River, a little northeast of the northern tip of the Sea of Galilee. Many of the inhabitants were forced into Syria.

In 1945, the village had a population of 650.


Al-Butayha was situated in a hilly area next to the border with Syria, approximately 0.25 km east of the Jordan River and 2 km from Lake Tiberias. The name means "marshland" in Arabic, in reference to the vast stretch of land in the area. In 1459 the village was visited by the Arab geographer al-Qalqashandi.[1]

British Mandate era

It was classified as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer.[1] By 1944/45 the village was counted with Arab al-Shamalina, and together they occupied an area of 16,690 dunums,[2][3] with 3,842 dunums allocated to cereal farming, 238 dunums under irrigation or used for orchards,[4] while 12,610 dunams were classified as non-cultivable land.[5]

1948, and aftermath

On May 4, 1948, the village was attacked by Israeli forces of Haganah’s Operation Matateh (Broom), under Operation Yiftach, as part of a coordinated offensive to evacuate all Arab settlement from an area north of Lake Tiberias and west of the Jordan River. According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, this operation had an impact on the morale of the residents before the village itself was depopulated and the people of Al-Butayha and other nearby villages, numbering some 2000 in total, have fled to Syria across the border.[1]


Today the village lands are occupied by the settlement of Almagor, which was established in 1961. A popular picnicking spot, Park ha-Yarden ("Jordan River Park"), is now located just 200 metres south of the site.[1] Today only black basalt walls of destroyed houses remain of the village of Al-Butayha, with many trees such as palms, olive, and tall eucalyptus trees growing in the area.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Khalidi, 1992, p.440
  2. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 69
  3. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 9
  4. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 118
  5. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 168


External link

  • Welcome To al-Butayha
  • Survey of Western Palestine, Map 6: IAA, Wikimedia commons
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