Jubb Yusuf Before 1948
The village was situated in a flat, volcanic area that had reddish soil, northwest of Lake Tiberias. A highway that led to Salad and Tiberias passed a short distance to the east of it. It may have acquired its name from a nearby well, Jubb Yusuf (“Joseph’s well”). The site was also known as Khan (see Glossary) Jubb Yusuf; this implies that it had been a stopping place for travelers, and in fact was mentioned as such by a number of Arab and Western travelers. The Arab geographer al-Maqdisi wrote in A.D. 985 that it was a resting place along the road to Damascus. Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladin) also stopped there on his way to fight the Crusaders in the battle of Hittin (1187).
In 1355, Ibn Battuta described the well as being large, deep, and placed in the courtyard of a small mosque. In 1596, Jubb Yusuf was a village in the nahiya of Jira (liwa’ of Safad) with a population of seventy-two. It paid taxes on a number of crops, including wheat, barley, and fruit, as well as on goats and beehives. Al-Nablusi (d. Ca. 1730) noted the pleasant dome over the well and a handsome mosque close to it. He also mentioned a well-built khan. The Swiss traveler Burckhardt noted in 1822 that the khan was failing into ruin.
The modern village was small, with closely-packed houses made of mud, basalt stones, and limestone. It had a mosque that was surmounted by a dome. A large number of wells and springs provided water for both domestic use and irrigation. The springs attracted the Bedouin of the ‘Arab al-Suyyad tribe, who settled the village, worked the land, and made up the majority of its (entirely Muslim) population. Their main crops were grain, vegetables, fruits, and olives. In 1944/45 they planted 2,477 dunmns in cereals. A tomb for a local religious teacher, Shaykh ‘Abdallah, was located in the village, and several khirbas lay to the east.
Occupation and Depopulation
Units of the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) engaged with Jewish convoys south of Jubb Yusuf at least twice in the early weeks of the war. In both cases, on 12 February and 26 February 1948, British forces intervened to stop the fighting, according to records kept by ALA commander Fawzi al-Qawuqji.
In the second half of April 1948, the Haganah launched Operation Yiftach (see Abil aI-Qainh, Safad District). In his report to the Haganah General Staff on 22 April, Palmach commander Yigal Allon recommended “an attempt to clear out the beduins encamped between the Jordan [River), and Jubb Yusuf and the Sea of Galilee.” Israeli historian Benny Morris, who quotes the report, also states that the village itself was not attacked until 4 May, at which time its residents were probably expelled.
Israeli Settlements on Village Lands
The settlement of ‘Ammi’ad , established in 1946 on village land, is north of the village site.
The Village Today
AU that remains of the village are the thorn-covered kiian and the domed tomb of Shaykh ‘Abdallah. Fig and carob trees grow on the site. The village land is cultivated by the settlement of ‘Ammi’ad. Near the site are structures belonging to the water project that diverts water from the Jordan for use in Israel, including the water pumping station at al-Tabigha (6km to the south), which draws water from Lake Tiberias.
Source: al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington DC: 1992.
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