Infobox Former Arab villages in Palestine

altSp=Lubiya, Lubia
date=July 16, 1948
curlocl=Lavi, Lavi Pine Forest, South African Park

Lubya ( _ar. لوبيا "bean") was a Palestinian town located ten kilometers west of Tiberias that was captured and destroyed by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Nearby villages included Nimrin to the north, Hittin to the northwest, and al-Shajara to the south; Each of those villages were also depopulated.

Lubya had a total land area of 39,629 dunams, of which 83% was Arab-owned and the remainder being public property. Most of its cultivable land was planted with cereals while only 1,500 dunams were planted with olive groves. The village's built-up area was 210 dunams.


The village was known as "Lubia" by the Crusaders and was a rest stop for Saladin's Ayyubid army prior to the Battle of Hattin. [Reston, James Jr. (2001). "Warriors of God". First Anchor Books: p.51. ISBN 0-385-49562-5 ] It's also the birthplace of a prominent 15th century Muslim scholar Abu Bakr al-Lubyani, who taught Islamic religious sciences in Damascus. [ Lubya] Nashashibi, Rami. Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society. Birzeit University. June 1996. ]

Lubya was incorporated into the "nahiya" ("district") of Tiberias in 1596, a few decades after the Ottoman Empire won control over the region from the Mamluks. The village was required to pay taxes on its goats, beehives and its olive press. The Ottoman governor of Damascus, Suleiman Pasha died in the village while on his way to confront the rebellious "de facto" Arab ruler of the Galilee Dhaher al-Omar.

Lubya is near the site of Khan Lubya which is filled with the ruins of a pool, cisterns and large building stones. This site was probably a caravansary during medieval times.

In the early 19th century, a British traveler, James Silk Buckingham described Lubya as a very large village on top of a high hill. Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss traveler to Palestine, referred to the village as "Louby" and noted that wild artichokes covered the village plain. [Burckhardt, John Lewis, 1784-1817 (1822): [ Travels in Syria and the Holy Land] , p. 333, ] An elementary school was established in 1895 and remained in use throughout the rule of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1923-1947. During this period, Lubya was the second largest village in the Tiberias District.

Capture by Israel

At the onset of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Lubya was being defended by local militia volunteers. Village forces constantly skirmished with Israeli forces; the first Israeli raid on the village occurred on January 20, 1948, coordinated with one on nearby Tur'an, leaving one Lubya resident dead. On February 24, local militiamen and Arab Liberation Army (ALA) members ambushed a Jewish convoy on the village's outskirts, causing several casualties, including one militiaman. The attack signaled that the Israelis were unable to keep the roads open and that foreign volunteers (the ALA) were taking over the offensive in the eastern Galilee. [Tal, David (2004) " [,M1 War in Palestine, 1948] " Routledge: p.69 ISBN 071465275X]

In early March, Israeli forces attempted to create a route between Tiberias and the village of Shajara, which required attacking Lubya. During the attack militiamen repulsed the Israelis, killing seven and losing six of their own.

After Tiberias was occupied by Israel, Lubya turned to the ALA in nearby Nazareth for military support and guidance. The ALA responded by attacking the Jewish town of Sejera on June 10 at the time when a truce was being brokered between Lubya's militiamen and Israeli forces. After the truce expired on July 16, Israel launched Operation Dekel, capturing Nazareth at the start.

After news of Nazareth's fall, the majority of non-combatant village residents fled north towards Lebanon or to nearby Arab towns. The ALA also withdrew, leaving the local militia to confront incoming forces. When a single Israeli armored unit appeared outside the village, the militia retreated and left the village. The few remaining residents reported that Israeli forces subsequently shelled the Lubya, demolished a few houses and commandeered many others.


The Israeli town of Lavi was built on Lubya's remains. There are also two parks on the village lands: the Lavi Pine Forest and the South African Park. They are used as picnic grounds for local residents, including former residents of Lubya who are internally displaced persons living in various existing Arab towns in Israel.Davis, Uri. (2003) [ Apartheid Israel: Possibilities for the Struggle Within] " Zed Books: pp.55-58. ISBN 1842773399]


The village's population rose and dropped dramatically throughout its history; In 1596, Lubya had a population of 1,177 dropping to about 400-700 in the beginning of the 19th century. In the British Mandate census in 1922, the population rose to 1,702. [ Welcome to Lubya: Towns Statistics and Facts] Palestine Remembered.] According to Sami Hadawi's village statistics, Lubya had a population of 2,350 in 1945.Hadawi, Sami. (1970) [ District Stats] from [ Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine] The Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center: p.72] The village's residents predominantly adhere Islam.

It was estimated that there was 16,741 Palestinian refugees descending from Lubya in 1998. The majority of them live in Lebanon, while several hundred live in Israel.

ee also

*List of villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War


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