District: Akka (Acre)

Population 1948: 1440

Occupation date: 10/07/1948

Occupying unit: Carmeli & 7 brigade

Jewish settlements on village/town land before 1948: None

Jewish settlements on village/town land after 1948: Amka


The village was situated on a rocky, uneven hill where the slopes of lower western Galilee met the Acre plain. A secondary road linked it to the coastal highway that led to Acre, and other roads connected ot to neighboring villages. It was located 11 km northeast of Acre.

Although the Haganah had begun to attack Palestinian coastal villages as early as December 1947, the fighting did not reach 'Amqa immediatly. People from neighboring villages began to seek refuge in 'Amqa in May 1948, but the village did not comme under attack until 10-11 July, during the first stage of Operation Dekel. It was dring Operation Dekel that most of Lower Galilee, including Nazareth, was occupied. Operation Dekel began on the nightof 9 July, immediatly after the first truce of the war had took effect. The first step in this operation consisted of the capture of a string of villages along a north-south axis in the western Galilean hills, extending from al-Kabri in the north, to al-Birwa in the center, and to Shafa 'Amr in the south. The attacking units were drown from the Sheva' (seventh) Brigade and the First Battalion of the Carmeli Brigade. This initial phase of Operation Dekel widened the strip of coastal land in Acre District held by Zionist forces.

In the second step, launched in the Ten Days between the two truces of the war, the Zionist hold on western Galilee was consolidated and large portions of Lower Galille were seized. Units of the Sheva' Brigade turned westwards to take control of a number of western Galilee villages. Al-Damun was among them, falling on 15-16 July 1948. At the same time, an armored battalion of the Sheva Brigade and two intantry battalions of the Carmeli Brigade moved southeast from Shafa 'Amr to take Saffuriyya (Nazareth District).They continued to move southeast and attacked Nazareth, joining with infantrymen from the Golani Brigade. The nearby villages of Ma'lul and al-Mujaydil were occupied by a crack of the Golani Brigade, according to the history of the war of Independence. That occured on 14 or 15 July 1948, as the Israeli army closed on Nazareth. Al-Mujaydil was one of the villages in Lower Galilee which was completely emptied of its inhabitants and then razed to the ground.

At the end of Operation Dekel, Israeli forces scrambled to capitalize on their military successes in Lower Galilee before the second truce of the war took effect. They managed to encroach on a number of villages to the north and east of the area operations.

'Amqa was seized during the first stage of Operation Dekel. Advancing eastwards after the end of the first truce, Israeli units bombarded the village with artillery. The attacking units were drown from the Sheva' Brigade and the First Battalion of the Carmeli Brigade. 'Amqa was one of the first villages to be occupied in the area, and Israeli historian Benny Morris states that is was the only Druze village in western Galilee to be shelled and evacuated. Most inhabitants probably left during the artillery barrage. But some appear to have remained; Palestinian historian Nafez Nazzal quotes eyewitnesses who said that the shelling of 'Amqa continued into the second truce of the war, and that a woman was injured in the village as late as 31 July.

On 20 August 1948, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) submitted a plan according to which 'Amqa (together with thirty-one other villages) would be the site of new Jewish settlements. The JNF established the settlement of 'Amqa in 1949 on village land, directly to the north of the village site.

The site is overgrown with wild grasses. Only the school and mosque are extant. The mosque is a stone structure surmounted with a dome; its front facade is defined by three large, lancet-arched entrances. Its walls are cracked in many places and some of the stones of the walls have fallen. It stands deserted amidst shrubs, wild grasses, and the debris of destroyed houses. The school has a gabled roof and has been joined to some new annexes that were added by Israelis whi now use the complex as a warehouse. The land in the vicinity is utilized for animal forage.


Testimony by Dov Yermiya
Dov Yirmia, Hagana commander (short interview)
Women's Testimonies of the Nakba



Locality tours
Amqa tour - Report