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Title: Eilabun  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Arab localities in Israel, List of massacres in Israel, Beit Netofa Valley, Khirbat al-Wa'ra al-Sawda', Farradiyya
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew עַילַבּוּן, עֵילַבּוּן
 • ISO 259 ʕeilabbun
 • Also spelled Illabun (official)
Eilaboun, Ailabun (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic عيلبون
Eilabun is located in Israel
District Northern
 • Type Local council (from 1973)
 • Total 4,835 dunams (4.835 km2 or 1.867 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total 4,400

Eilabun (Arabic: عيلبونAilabun, Hebrew: עַילַבּוּן, עֵילַבּוּן) is an Israeli-Arab local council in Israel's North District, located in the Beit Netofa Valley. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, Eilabun had a population of 4,400 inhabitants in 2005.[1] The population is predominantly Christian. In 1973, Eilabun achieved local council status by the Israeli government.[2]


Eilabun is a small town in the Galilee 15 kilometres (9 miles) south-west of Safad in Northern Israel, it consists of a Christian and Muslim Arabic population. Christians being the majority and they consist of about 70% of the town's total population.


According to the Survey of Western Palestine, the name Eilabun comes from Arabic, meaning "hard, rocky ground."[3] An Israeli theory is that the place was built on the ancient site of "Ailabu" (Hebrew: עַיְלַבּוּ), a possible variation of the name Ein Levon.[4]


Pottery remains from the Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age II, Persian, early Roman and from the Byzantine era have been excavated.[5]

Rock-cut sarcophagi have been found to the west of the village.[6]

Ottoman period

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 13 Muslim households.[7]

In 1875, the French explorer Victor Guérin found that the village had a population of about 100 Greek Christians, with a "humble" chapel. He noted an excellent water source, and remains (including columns) of old buildings.[8] In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as "a stone village, well built, containing about 100 Christian Arab. It is situated on a ridge, surrounded by brushwood, with arable land in the valley. A good spring exists to the west of the village."[9]

British rule

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Ailabun had a total population of 319, all Christian,[10] increasing in the 1931 census to 404, 32 Muslims and 372 Christians, in a total of 85 houses.[11]

In 1945, the population comprised 530 Christians and 20 Muslims,[12] who owned a total of 11,190 dunams of land, while 3,522 dunams of land was public.[13] Of this, 1,209 dunams were for plantations and irrigable land, 2,187 for cereals,[14] while 18 dunams were built-up land.[15]

State of Israel

Israel's Golani Brigade's 12th Battalion captured Eilabun on October 30, 1948—during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, from the Arab Liberation Army (ALA). After the town's surrender, negotiated by four priests, the commander of the Golani troops selected 14 young Arab men and had them executed, in what became known as the Eilabun massacre. The village was then looted.[16] Most of the town's residents were marched out to the Lebanese border, while hundreds fled to nearby gullies, caves and villages.[17][18] As part of an agreement between Archbishop Hakim and the leader of the "Arab Section" in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Eliabun exiles in Lebanon were allowed to return in summer of 1949.[17] The village remained under Martial Law until 1966.

On 25 April 2008, six people were injured, two of them sustaining serious wounds, in a brawl which broke out between Druze and Christians near Eilabun.[19] The sectarian conflict was a part of the long running feud between the communities, which began in 2004 in the city of Shefa-'Amr. The April 2008 clash began for an unknown reason as members of the Druze community marched towards the grave site of Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, walking on the main road near the village of Eilabun.[19] The marchers fought with the village residents using guns and stones.[19] The Druze community elders who were present at the scene managed to restore calm.[19] The conflict ended following an official reconciliation between the Druze and Christians in 2009.

People from Eilabun

See also


  1. ^ Localities with populations over 1,000 Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ Eilabun (Israel) Dov Gutterman, FOTW
  3. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 121
  4. ^ HaReuveni, Immanuel (1999). Lexicon of the Land of Israel (in Hebrew). Miskal - Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed Books. p. 739.  
  5. ^ Feig, 2011, ‘Elabbon, Final report
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 381
  7. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 189
  8. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 359-360
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 364
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Tiberias, p. 39
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 82
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Village Statistics 1945.
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 72
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 122
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 172
  16. ^ Morris, 2004, pp.479-480
  17. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. 480
  18. ^ Benvenisti, 2000, pp. 153-154
  19. ^ a b c d "Druze, Christians clash near Galilee village - Israel News, Ynetnews". 1995-06-20. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 


External links

  • Eilaboun official Website
  • Welcome To Eilabun
  • SWP map 6, IAA
  • , Wikimedia commons
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