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Iksal, as seen from Nazareth Illit
District North
Government Local council
Hebrew אִכְּסָל, אכסאל, כִּסְלוֹת תָּבוֹר
Arabic إكسال
Population 11,700 (2005)
Area 9000 dunams (9.0 km2; 3.5 sq mi)
Website موقع إكسال
مدرسة إكسال الثانوية
مدرسة إكسال الإعدادية

Iksal (Arabic: إكسال‎, 'Iksal; Hebrew: אִכְּסָל, כִּסְלוֹת תָּבוֹר‎, Kislot Tavor[1]) is an Arab local council in northern Israel, about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast of Nazareth.[2] It has an area of 9,000 dunams and a population of 11,700 primarily Muslim inhabitants. The name of town is believed to derive from that of Chesulloth (Chisloth-Tabor), a biblical town mentioned in the Book of Joshua (Joshua 19:12).[2][3]


Iksal was known to Josephus as Xaloth.[4]

On December 22, 946, the forces of the Egyptian Ikhshidid dynasty defeated those of Sayf al-Daula at Iksal. The latter retreated to Aleppo, while the Ikshidid forces advanced onto Damascus.[5]

During the period of Crusader or Mamluk rule in Palestine, a castle was built in Iksal, the ruins of which remain visible today.[6]

Like many other Arab towns and villages in the Galilee that were left standing after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Iksal surrendered to Israeli forces without putting up a fight. Individuals who had collaborated with Zionist officials prior to Israel's establishment, negotiated the terms of surrender and transition to rule under the new military government.[7]


Iksal looking to the southwest

A view of Iksal from the east of the town, looking towards the southwest

Archaeological excavations in Iksal revealed artifacts from the period of Roman and Byzantine rule in Palestine.[6] A ring decorated with the image of a lion was found and dates to one of these time periods.[8] In burial caves carved into the rock, sarcophagi and ossuaries containing pottery, glass vessels, and jewelry were found. Also dated to the Byzantine period are agricultural installations, carved into the rock and plastered, inside of which were found part of a winepress. Building remains from the Mamluk period have also been excavated.[6]


According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a low ranking (3 out of 10) on the country's socioeconomic index (December 2001). Only 65.3% of students are entitled to a matriculation certificate after Grade 12 (2000). The average salary that year was NIS 3,640 per month, whereas the national average was NIS 6,835. Its population has grown at an annual rate of 2.8%.

In Iksal, about 60 percent of the inhabitants are family relations of one another.[9]

See also


  1. HaReuveni, Immanuel (1999). Lexicon of the Land of Israel. Miskal - Yedioth Ahronoth Books and Chemed Books. p. 37. ISBN 965-448-413-7.  (Hebrew)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Freedman et al, 2000, p. 236.
  3. Aharoni, 1979, pp. 120, 257.
  4. Armstrong, 2009, p. 42.
  5. Gil, 1997, pp. 319-320.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Yardenna Alexandre (September 26, 2008). "Iksal: Final Report". Hadashot Arkheologiyot: Excavations and Surveys in Israel (Israel Antiquities Authority) (Journal 120). 
  7. Cohen, 2010, p. 17.
  8. Chancey, 2005, p. 216.
  9. Cushner, 2004, p. 86.


  • Aharoni, Yohanan (1979). The land of the Bible: a historical geography (2nd, illustrated, revised ed.). Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0664242669, 9780664242664. 
  • Armstrong, George (2009). Names and Places in the Old Testament and Apocrypha. BiblioBazaar, LLC. ISBN 1103293249, 9781103293247. 
  • Chancey, Mark A. (2005). Greco-Roman culture and the Galilee of Jesus (Illustrated ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521846471, 9780521846479. 
  • Cohen, Hillel (2010). Good Arabs: The Israeli Security Agencies and the Israeli Arabs, 1948-1967. University of California Press. ISBN 0520257677, 9780520257672. 
  • Cushner, Kenneth (2004). Beyond tourism: a practical guide to meaningful educational travel. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 1578861543, 9781578861545. 
  • Gil, Moshe (1997). A history of Palestine, 634-1099. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521599849, 9780521599849. 
  • Freedman, David Noel; Myers, Allen C. (2000). Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (Illustrated ed.). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0802824005, 9780802824004. 


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