Template:Infobox Israel muni Peki'in or Buqei'a (Hebrew: פְּקִיעִין; Arabic: البقيعة), is a locality, local council in the Northern District of Israel located eight kilometres east of Ma'alot-Tarshiha in the Upper Galilee. The local council in the predominantly Druze village was established in 1958 and has a population of over 5,200 people (2008 estimate).
Recognized for hundreds of years as an area where Druze and Jews lived peacefully together, Peki'in is notable for its place in Jewish history. In Jewish tradition, Peki'in is famous for a local cave in which Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son, Rabbi Elazar ben Shimon, hid from the Romans for 13 years after the collapse of the Bar Kochba rebellion against Roman rule. According to legend, Rabbi Shimon and his son lived off spring water and the fruit of a miraculous carob tree during their years of hiding, and passed the time by writing books about Jewish mysticism. It was there that he is said to have written the Zohar, the most important book in the Kabbalah.
Peki'in is frequently mentioned in historical sources, specifically in reference to its small Jewish community that has existed there almost continuously since the Second Temple period. Near the village, there are significant sites for Druze and Jews, including a restored Jewish synagogue dating back to the Roman Period. The oldest Druze school in the region was established in Peki'in by the Russian church at the end of the 19th century. Arab riots in 1936 forced the Jews of Peki'in to leave their homes for safer parts of the country; only a few of them later returned. Up until recently Peki'in had a small Jewish population of approximately 9 families, which lived in close proximity to the ancient Peki'in Synagogue. However, according to residents of Peki'in, in recent years these Jewish families had suffered abuse from Arab gangs, such as theft and destruction of property and vehicles, and three grenade attacks in the past year.. Following riots in October 2007 in which the houses of the Jewish families living in the village were burned down, most of the families left the village. On December 3, 2007 it was reported that most of the last Jewish family had left Peki'in after their car was torched by locals.
Peki'in HaHadasha was established as a Jewish community in 1955, very close to Old Peki'in.
According to Galib Kheir, head of the town's tourism department, about 60,000 tourists visit Peki'in each year. The tourist trade supports local restaurants and specialty shops. The town also has a hotel and youth hostel.
Peki'in was one of settlements hit by Katyusha rockets sent by Hezbollah on July 14, 2006 during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict. On July 28, 2006 five Katyushas struck Peki'in and one directly hit a home next the yard where a family was preparing for an afternoon wedding. Ten people were lightly wounded and treated for shock.
- ↑ http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3466197,00.html Stories from Peki'in, Ynet, 2007
- ↑ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3478336,00.html Last Jewish Family Leaves Peki'in, Ynetnews, 2007