Dayr al-Qassi

Dayr al-Qassi
Dayr al-Qassi
Dayr al-Qassi is located in Mandatory Palestine
Dayr al-Qassi
Arabic دير القاسي
Also Spelled Deir al-Qasi[1] Deir el-Kasy[2]
District Acre
Coordinates 33°02′06.60″N 35°19′30.11″E / 33.035167°N 35.3250306°E / 33.035167; 35.3250306Coordinates: 33°02′06.60″N 35°19′30.11″E / 33.035167°N 35.3250306°E / 33.035167; 35.3250306
Population 2,300 (1945)
Area 34,011 dunums

34.0 km²

Date of depopulation 30 October 1948[1]
Cause(s) of depopulation Military assault by Yishuv forces
Current localities Mattat, Alkosh, Abbirm, Netu'a

Dayr al-Qassi' or Deir el-Qasi (Arabic: دير القاسي‎) is a former Palestinian village located 26 km northeast of the city of Acre.



The village was located 26 km northeast of the city of Acre, on a rocky hill about 5 km south of the Lebanese border. It was linked by a paved road to Fassuta in the north and Tarshiha in the southwest. The road divided the town into an eastern and one western quarter, or haras, the eastern quarter being higher up.[3]


The first part of the village name, Dayr ("monastery") suggest that the village might have had a monastery and a Christian population. However, in modern times the population was Muslim. According to the residents of the village, ancient artifacts from the Canaanite, Israelite and Roman period were unearthed in the Ottoman and British Mandate period.[3]

In 1596, Dayr al-Qassi was a village in the Ottoman Empire, nahiya (subdistrict) of Jira under the liwa' (district) of Safad, with a population of 132. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat and barley, as well as on goats and beehives.[4]

In the late nineteenth century, the village of Dayr al-Qassi was described as being situated on a ridge, encircled by fig trees, olive trees and arable land. It then had a population of about 200.[5]

According to a 1945 census the village had a population of 2,300 and was a part of larger town also containing the two villages of Fassuta (existent) and al-Mansura. The town was mostly Muslim but had a large Palestinian Christian minority. Its total land area was 34,011 dunums of which only about 8,092 dunums were built upon.

1948 and aftermath

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Dayr al-Qassi was defended by the Arab Liberation Army but was defeated by the Israel Defence Force during its offensive Operation Hiram on October 30, 1948. The town's residents were expelled on May 27, 1949 and most migrated north into Lebanon.

Elqosh, established in 1949, occupies part of the village site. Netu'a, founded in 1966, Mattat, founded in 1979 and Abbirim, founded in 1980, are also on village land. Netu'a is near the neighboring village of al-Mansura.[6]

The Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the remaining structures on the village land in 1992: "A few stone houses still are used as residences or warehouses by the inhabitants of Elqosh. The debris of destroyed houses is strewn over the site. The school building stands deserted. Fig and olive trees and cactuses grow on the site."[6]

In 2004, the "ruins of the village were removed by mechanical equipment."[7]

See also

  • List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War


  1. ^ a b Morris, 2004, p. xvii, village #63. Also gives cause of depopulation.
  2. ^ Guérin, 1880, p.71
  3. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p.12
  4. ^ 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. 177. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p. 12
  5. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p.197. Quoted in Khalidi, 1992, p.12
  6. ^ a b Khalidi, 1992, p.13
  7. ^ Braun, 2004, Elqosh Archive Report- Final Report


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