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District North
Government Local council (from 1973)
Hebrew עַילַבּוּן, עֵילַבּוּן
Arabic عيلبون
Also spelled Illabun (officially)

Eilaboun, Ailabun (unofficially)

Population 4,400 (2005)
Area 4835 dunams (4.835 km2; 1.867 sq mi)
Founded in 19th century
Coordinates 32°50′18.24″N 35°24′2.74″E / 32.8384°N 35.4007611°E / 32.8384; 35.4007611Coordinates: 32°50′18.24″N 35°24′2.74″E / 32.8384°N 35.4007611°E / 32.8384; 35.4007611

Eilabun (Arabic: عيلبونAilabun, Hebrew: עַילַבּוּן, עֵילַבּוּן‎) is an Israeli-Arab local council in Israel's North District, located in the Bet 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 was built on the ancient site of "Ailabu" (Hebrew: עַיְלַבּוּ‎), a possible variation of the name Ein Levon.[3] Another theory is that the name derives from the Arabic "hard, rocky ground."[4] In 1596, the population was recorded as 13 Muslim families.[5] The modern town was founded by Christian Arab farmers from the town of Deir Hanna in the 19th century.[2] In 1881, it was described as "a stone village, well built, containing about 100 Christians."[6] In 1945, the population comprised 530 Christians and 20 Muslims.[7]

1948 War

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.[8] Most of the town's residents were marched out to the Lebanese border, while hundreds fled to nearby gullies, caves and villages.[9][10] 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.[9]

People from Eilabun

See also


  1. Localities with populations over 1,000 Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. 2.0 2.1 Eilabun (Israel) Dov Gutterman, FOTW
  3. HaReuveni, Immanuel (1999) (in Hebrew). Lexicon of the Land of Israel. Miskal - Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed Books. pp. 739. ISBN 965-448-413-7. 
  4. E. H. Palmer, Survey of Western Palestine, Arabic and English Name Lists, 1881, p. 121.
  5. Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter and Kamal Abdulfattah (1977), Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. p. 189.
  6. Survey of Western Palestine, Vol I, p364.
  7. Government of Palestine, Village Statistics 1945.
  8. Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Cambridge University Press, 2004 pp.479-480
  9. 9.0 9.1 Morris (2004), p. 480
  10. Benvenisti, Meron (2000): Sacred Landscape: Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948, University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21154-5, p. 153-154.



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