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Yafa an-Naseriyye

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Title: Yafa an-Naseriyye  
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Yafa an-Naseriyye

Yafa an-Naseriyye
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew יָפָא, יָפִיעַ
 • Also spelled Yafia (official)
Yafa (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic يافة الناصره
Yafa an-Naseriyye is located in Israel
Yafa an-Naseriyye
Yafa an-Naseriyye
District Northern
 • Type Local council (from 1960)
 • Total 4,087 dunams (4.087 km2 or 1.578 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 16,900
Name meaning Jaffa of Nazareth

Yafa an-Naseriyye (Arabic: يافة الناصره‎, "Jaffa of Nazareth", also Yafa, Yafia or Yafi Arabic: يافا, يفيع‎, Hebrew: יָפָא, יָפִיעַ) is an Arab local council located in the Lower Galilee, Israel. It forms part of the metropolitan area of Nazareth, also an Arab locality. Declared a local council in 1960, Yafa had a population of 16,200 in 2005, approximately 70% of whom are Muslim and 30% Christian.


Yafa an-Naseriyye is an ancient town where rock-tombs and cisterns, cut into rock, have been found.[1]

It has been identified with the ancient town of Japhia,[2] mentioned in the Book of Joshua as a border town of Zebulun (Joshua 19:12). Local medieval tradition holds that Zebedee and his two sons, James and John lived in Yafa.[3] Chambers, cut in stone, three stories high, have beed found. This was probably an old granary.[4] Victor Guérin noted that when one of the chambers was cleared out in 1869, a vase was found containing about two hundred coins of Roman emperors. According to his observations, there were two of the subterranean systems, one of which is described above, both of which have suffered considerable damage since they were first visited by him in 1870. He found nothing of the ancient town, except five or six frag- ments of columns, broken stones, and about thirty cisterns. The city formerly included three adjacent hills.[5]

Ottoman era

In 1517, the village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as being in the nahiya ("Subdistrict") of Tabariyya under the Liwa ("District") of Safad with a population of 14 Muslim households. The villagers paid taxes on wheat, barley, fruit trees, occasional revenues, goats and beehives.[6][7]

When Guérin visited in 1875, he found 400 inhabitants here, divided into Latins, Schismatic Greeks, and Moslems. There were also Protestant schools in the village.[8]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as a "moderate-sized village in a strong position on the spur running from Nazareth down to Jebata. It has a well to the north side and a second in the valley to the north-east."[9]

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Yafa had a total population of 615; 215 Muslims and 400 Christians.[10] This had increased at the 1931 census, when Yafa, (including Arab el Ghazzalin), had a population of 833; 456 Muslims and 377 Christians, in a total of 213 houses.[11]

In 1945 the population size of Yafa was 1,070, with 17,809 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[12] Of this, 710 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 12,701 used for cereals,[13] while 149 dunams were built-up land.[14]

1948, and aftermath

In 1948 Yafa was captured by the Israeli army during Operation Dekel which was launched in July.[15] The remaining population were put under Martial Law which remained in fore until 1966. A substantial portion of Yafa's population today are the descendents of internally displaced Palestinians from the neighbouring village of Ma'alul which was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. People from Ma'alul participated in the local elections in Yafa under the banner of the "Ma'alul refugees' party" with platform also focused on issues of interest or concern to wider population as a way of attracting political support from local parties.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Guerin, 1998, p. 689
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 120
  3. ^ Edgar Johnson Goodspeed (December 1900). "From Haifa to Nazareth". The Biblical World 16 (6): 407–413.  
  4. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, pp. 353-354
  5. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 103-105, as given by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 354
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 190
  7. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  8. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 103, as given by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 280
  9. ^ Conder and Kichener, 1881, SWP I, p. 280
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Nazareth, p. 38
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 76
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 63
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 110
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 160
  15. ^ Morris, 1987, p. 200
  16. ^ Nihad Bokae'e (February 2003). "Palestinian Internally Displaced Persons inside Israel:Challenging the Solid Structures".  


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