Kabul, Israel

For other places with the same name, see Kabul.
  • כָּבּוּל, כאבול
  • كابول
Hebrew transcription(s)
  ISO 259 Kabbul
  Also spelled al-Kabul (official)
Coordinates: 32°52′11″N 35°12′8″E / 32.86972°N 35.20222°E / 32.86972; 35.20222Coordinates: 32°52′11″N 35°12′8″E / 32.86972°N 35.20222°E / 32.86972; 35.20222
Grid position 170/252 PAL
District Northern
  Type Local council (from 1974)
  Head of Municipality Salah Ryan
  Total 7,149 dunams (7.149 km2 or 2.760 sq mi)
Population (2015)[1]
  Total 13,209
Name meaning from Kabul, a personal name[2]

Kabul (Arabic: كابول, Hebrew: כָּבּוּל) is an Arab town in the Northern District of Israel, located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) southeast of Acre and north of Shefa-'Amr. In 2015 it had a population of 13,209.


Fragments of pottery from the Persian period have been found in Kabul,[3] as well as excavated burial chambers, used from the 1st to the 4th centuries.[4]

Kabul is probably the Biblical Cabul mentioned by Joshua. In Roman times, Josephus calls the town "Chabolo" and camped there. He described it as a post from which incursions were made into the Galilee.[5]

Potsherds dating from the end of the Hellenistic–Early Roman period, Roman, and Byzantine periods have been found.[6][7] and bathhouse dating from the Byzantine era, and used well into the Umayyad era, have been excavated.[8]

Al-Muqaddasi visited Kabul in 985 CE, while it was under Abbasid rule. He writes that "it is a town in the coastal district. It has fields of sugarcanes, and they make the best sugar — better than in all the rest of Syria."[9][10] Ali of Herat reports in 1173 that two sons of Jacob are buried in the town, namely Reuben and Simeon.[9] Kabul was one of the principal cities of Jund al-Urrdun.[11] Its Crusader name was "Cabor". In the 14th and 15th centuries, it was a place for Jewish pilgrimage for containing the tombs of the Jewish scholars and philosophers Abraham ibn Ezra and Judah Halevi.[12]

Remains of a building dating to the Mamluk period was excavated in 1999.[6]

Ottoman era

In 1517, Kabul was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire along with the rest of Palestine, and in In 1596, the village appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Acre in the liwa' (district) of Safad, with a population of 40 Muslim households, 9 Muslim bachelors, 14 Jewish households and 1 Jewish bachelor. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, fruit trees, cotton, "occasional revenues" and bees.[13]

In 1859, the population was estimated to be 400 people, with 30 feddans as tillage.[14]

The French explorer Victor Guérin visited in 1875, and noted "on the sides and top of the hill are found many rock-cut cisterns, a great many cut stones scattered here and there or built up in modern houses, fragments of columns, the vestiges of a surrounding wall, and remains of sarcophagi adorned with discs and garlands."[15]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Kabul as a moderate sized village, with olives to the north and south.[14]

British Mandate era

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Kabul had a population of 365, all Muslims,[16] increasing at the time of the 1931 census to 457, still all Muslims, in 100 houses.[17]

In 1945 the population was 560, all Arabs, while the total land area was 10,399 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[18] Of this, 1,065 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 5,539 for cereals,[19] while 56 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[20]

1948, and aftermath

The village was captured by Israel on 15 July 1948 during Operation Dekel by the Sheva Brigade. Israeli forces did not attack Kabul and very few of Kabul's residents fled the village. On 8 January 1949 villagers from Kabul with others from I'billin were amongst a group of Arabs, 97 men with 31 women and children, who were expelled to the West Bank at 'Ara.[21] All the Arab villages in the Galilee remained under Martial Law until 1966. Anyone not registered in the November 1948 census was "illegal" and could be deported.

Currently, there are five mosques in the town.[22] In 1974, it received the status of local council by the Israeli government.[23]


In 1859 the population was estimated as being 400.[14] In a 1922 census by the British Mandate of Palestine, Kabul had 365 inhabitants, rising to 457 in 1931. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the town of Kabul had a population of 7,134 in 1995, rising to 9,400 in 2005. Its inhabitants are mostly Muslims. Kabul's prominent families are Rayan, Hamoud, Taha, Morad, Hamdony, Ibrahim, Hebi, Uthman, Ashkar, Sharari, Akari, Badran and Bouqai. The town hosts a large number of Internally displaced Palestinians from the nearby destroyed villages of al-Birwa, al-Damun, Mi'ar and al-Ruways.[24] All of the inhabitants are Arab citizens of Israel, mostly adherents of Islam.[23]

See also


  1. "List of localities, in Alphabetical order" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  2. Palmer, 1881, p. 110
  3. Abu Raya, 2013, Kabul -final report
  4. Dauphin, 1998, p. 663
  5. Robinson, 1856, p. 88.
  6. 1 2 Abu-‘Uqsa, 2007, Kabul
  7. Zidan and Alexandre, 2012, Kabul
  8. Abu Raya, 2013, Kabul
  9. 1 2 le Strange, 1890, p. 467
  10. Al-Muqaddasi, 1886, p. 29
  11. le Strange, 1890, p. 39
  12. Vilnay, Zev, (2003). Legends of Palestine. Kessinger Publishing, p.406.
  13. Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 193
  14. 1 2 3 Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 271
  15. Guérin, 1880, pp. 422-423; as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 308
  16. Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 37
  17. Mills, 1932, p. 101
  18. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 40
  19. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 80
  20. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 130
  21. Morris, 1993, p. 145
  22. Welcome to Kabul Palestine Remembered.
  23. 1 2 Gutterman, Dov. Kabul (Israel) CRW Flags.
  24. Palestinian Internally Displaced Persons inside Israel: Challenging the Solid Structures BADIL, p.5. Archived December 14, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.


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