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|Government||Local council (from 1925)|
|Hebrew||כַּפְר יָסִיף, כפר יאסיף|
|Name meaning||"Joseph's village"|
|Also spelled|| Kafar Yasif (officially)
Kfar Yasif (unofficially)
|Area||3194 dunams (3.194 km2; 1.233 sq mi)|
|Head of municipality||Awni Toma|
Kafr Yasif also spelled Kfar Yasif or Kafar Yasef, (Hebrew: כַּפְר יָסִיף; Arabic: كفر ياسيف, Kufr Yaseef) is an Arab local council in the North District of Israel. It is located 11 kilometers (7 mi) northeast of the city of Acre and adjacent to Abu Sinan. Christians make-up the majority of the population at 57%, while Muslims constitute 40%, and the remaining inhabitants are Druze.
Kafr Yasif was mentioned by Josephus Flavius. It was inhabited during the Crusader-era of rule in Palestine by Christians and paid tithes to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. During Ottoman rule, Kafr Yasif primarily grew olives and cotton. It had a population of 600 in 1880. Prior the 19th century, there existed a small Jewish community and cemetery.
In 1925, Kafr Yasif was one of the few Arab villages in the Galilee to receive local council status during the British mandate era. In 1939, during the Arab revolt in Palestine, the British Army burned down half of the village in response to an attack on British soldiers. It was later discovered the militiamen who attacked the soldiers were not from Kafr Yasif and, as compensation, the town was rebuilt with a school and a renovated city hall which are still in use in the present-day.
Kafr Yasif, along with Shefa-'Amr, I'billin, Amqa, and four other nearby villages, was captured by the Haganah's Sheva and Carmeli Brigades in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War during the first stage of Operation Dekel between July 8-14. Unlike many captured Arab towns, the majority of the population did not flee their houses. However, during the war, some residents from nearby villages, particularly al-Birwa, al-Manshiyya and Kuwaykat took refuge in Kafr Yasif. On February 28, 1949, most of the 700 refugees that had taken refuge in the town "were put into trucks and driven to the front lines, where they were forced to cross the frontier border into Lebanon." On March 1, an additional 250 refugees were expelled. Knesset member Tawfik Toubi strongly protested against the expulsions.
Kafr Yasif is one of the few Arab towns in the Galilee today that has been in complete Arab ownership without confiscation of land by Israel. In a 1961 census, there was a total of 2,975 inhabitants in the town, of which there were 1,747 Christians, 1,138 Muslims and 90 Druze. In 1972-73, Violet Khoury was elected Mayor of Kafr Yasif, making her the first Arab woman to reach the post of local council head in Israel. In the mid-1980s, Charles Kamden reported that one-third of the inhabitants in Kafr Yasif were internally displaced Palestinians.
It is popular belief that the tomb of the monotheistic saint, al-Khadr is located in Kafr Yasif. The site is especially venerated by the Druze, some of whom make annual pilgrimages to the tomb on January 25. The structure is composed of a large convention hall adjacent to the tomb, along with rooms and courtyards that serve both pilgrims and other visitors. Al-Khadr is the Arabic name for Saint George in Christianity. There are three churches and two mosques in the town. The main bishop of the town's Greek Orthodox community is Atallah Makhouli.
People associated with Kafr Yasif
- Jawad Bolous - former resident, political lawyer in East Jerusalem
- Mahmoud Darwish - received secondary education in Kafr Yasif
- Amal Murkus - resident, popular Arabic singer in Israel
- ↑ Population of Localities Numbering Above 2,000 Residents and Other Rural Population Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. p.2.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kafr Yasif (Israel) Municipality Flags and Descriptions.
- ↑ Ellenblum, 2003, p.149.
- ↑ Lewis, 1952, p.17.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Betts, 1990, pp.123-124.
- ↑ Morris, 2004, p.416.
- ↑ Freeman, Charles. Evacuation of Refugees from Kafr Yasif. 1949-03-25.
- ↑ Jiryis, 1968, p.57.
- ↑ Morris, 2004, p.515.
- ↑ Masalha and Said, 2005, p.27.
- ↑ Fallah, Ghazi. Arabs versus Jews in Galilee: Competition for regional resources.
- ↑ Herzong, 1999, p.175.
- ↑ Masalha and Said, 2005, p.14.
- ↑ Dana, 2003, pp.30-31.
- Betts, Robert Brenton. (1990). The Druze Yale University Press
- Dana, Nissim. (2003). The Druze in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status Sussex Academic Press, pp.30-31.
- Ellenblum, Ronnie. (2003). Frankish Rural Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem Cambridge University Press.
- Herzog, Hanna. (1999). Gendering politics: women in Israel. University of Michigan Press.
- Jiryis, Sabri. (1968). The Arabs in Israel.
- Lewis, Bernard. (1952). Notes and Documents from the Turkish Archives Israel Oriental Society.
- Masalha, Nur and Said, Edward W. (2005). Catastrophe remembered: Palestine, Israel and the internal refugees : essays in memory of Edward W. Said (1935-2003). Zed Books.
- Morris, Benny. (2004). Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press.
- Kfar Yasif. Municipal Website.