Qaqun


Qaqun

Infobox Former Arab villages in Palestine
name=Qaqun


imgsize=
caption=
arname=قاقون
meaning=
altSp=Quaquo, Caco
district=tk
population=1,970
popyear=1945
area=41,767
areakm=
date=5 June 1948
cause=M
cause2=
cause3=
curlocl=HaMa'apil, Gan Yoshiya, Ometz, Yikon

Qaqun ( _ar. قاقون, known to the Crusaders as Quaquo or Caco) was a Palestinian Arab village located 6 kilometres northwest of the city of Tulkarem, at the only entrance to Mount Nablus (Samaria) from the coastal Sharon plain.cite book|title="Revolt in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: The Era of Shaykh Zahir Al-'Umar"|author=Ahmad Hasan Joudah|year=1987|publisher=Kingston Press|page=69|isbn=0940670119 ]

Continuously inhabitated by Arabs since at least as early as the Mamluk period,cite book|title="Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948"|author=Meron Benvenisti|publisher=University of California Press|year=2000|page=302|isbn=0520234227] Qaqun was depopulated during a military assault by Israeli forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

History

Assyrian monuments and documents have been discovered in Qaqun.cite journal|title=Israel at the Close of the Period of the Monarchy: An Archaeological Survey|author=Ephraim Stern|journal=The Biblical Archaeologist|volume=Vol. 38, No. 2|month=May | year=1975|pages=26–54]

The site of a Mamluk era mosque and a Mamluk and Crusader era fortress between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, Qaqun was the capital of one of six districts that made up the province of "as-Sham", the Mamluk administrative unit for Palestine.cite book|title="Islam in History: Ideas, People, and Events in the Middle East"|author=Bernard Lewis|year=2001|publisher=Open Court Publishing|page=157|isbn=0812695186] Qaqun, Gaza, and Lyyda also appeared to be independent provinces later in this period.

While early scholarship often attributed the construction of the fortress to Crusaders, both the fortress and mosque at Qaqun are now thought to have built during the reign of the Mamluk sultan Ruqn al-Din Baybars (1267 - 1271), who also built an administrative center and large market there.

In December of 1271, as Baybars was battling the Mongols in Aleppo, the Crusader forces of King Edward raided Qaqun, but were quickly fought back by the forces of the Mamluk emirs.cite book|title=Mongols and Mamluks: The Mamluk-Īlkhānid War, 1260-1281|author=Reuven Amitai-Preiss|year=1995|publisher=Cambridge University Press|page=99|isbn=0521462266]

Just prior to the 1948 war, in addition to the mosque and fortress, Qaqun also housed of an elementary school for boys and hundreds of homes for its more than 2,000 inhabitants. The village families were made up of the al-Hafi, Abu-Hantash and al-Shaykh Ghanem clans.cite web|title=Welcome to Qaqun|publisher=Palestine Remembered|accessdate=2001-12-12|url=http://www.palestineremembered.com/Tulkarm/Qaqun]

1948 Arab-Israeli War

Warbox
conflict=Battle of Qaqun
partof=1948 Arab-Israeli War


caption=
date=June 4–5, 1948
place=Israel
reason=Protect the Israeli coastal plain from Iraqi assault and capture a strategic point in the Triangle
result=Israeli victory
territory=
combatant1=flagicon|Israel IDF (Alexandroni Brigade)
combatant2=flagicon|Iraq|1924 Iraq, Arab irregulars
commander1=flagicon|Israel Col. Dan Even (Alexandroni Brigade)
flagicon|Israel Ben Zion Ziv (33rd Battalion)
commander2=
strength1=Reinforced battalion
strength2=Iraqi regulars, 200 irregulars
casualties1=16cite web|title=Capture of Qaqun|url=http://www.alexandroni.org/site.php?battle=kakun|publisher=Alexandroni Brigade|accessdate=2008-09-13 he icon]
casualties2=|
During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Iraqi regular forces were entrenched in the Triangle and threatened to cut the Israeli-controlled territory in half by capturing Netanya. Such an Iraqi attack was repelled on 29 May 1948, when Israeli forces successfully defended the villages Ein Vered, Kfar Yabetz and Geulim. Arab attacks came from Ras al-Ein, Tira, Qalansawe and Qaqun, and the capture of any of which would likely bring an end to Iraqi attacks on the Netanya area.cite encyclopedia|encyclopedia=Carta's Atlas of Israel|year=1978|publisher=Carta|location=Jerusalem, Israel|editor=Evyatar Nur|author=Wallach, Jeuda|coauthors=Lorekh, Netanel; Yitzhaki, Aryeh|title=Capture of Qaqun|volume=Volume 1 - The First Years 1948–1961|pages=p. 15 he icon]

Qaqun was chosen as the destination for an Israeli offensive, and on 5 June at 04:00, the 33rd Battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade attacked the village. A frontal assault was conducted on the Iraqi headquarters to the north of the village, after the nearby mill was cleared. The Israel Defense Forces were only able to clear the village during the day, and used reinforcements from the 32nd Battalion at Ein HaHoresh, which flanked the Arab forces from the south. Iraqi counter-attacks from Kalansawe and Tulkarem lasted until nightfall, and both sides bombed each other's positions from the air. The Israeli forces were able to hold on to the village and no Iraqi attacks came on the coastal plain after the operation.

Today

Walid Khalidi describes the remaining structures of the village as follows:

"The fortress on top of the hill, a well that belonged to the family of Abu Hantash, and the school building are all that remain of the village. The fortress is surrounded by stone rubble and the remains of houses, and the school building is still used as a school by Israelis.

The estimated number of Palestinian refugees from Qaqun, as of 1998, was 14,034.

The Nature and Parks Authority and the Hefer Valley Economic Development Corporation recently ordered that the former site of Qaqun, its fortress and other ruins be declared a national park.cite web|title=Conservation of the Built Heritage in Israel: Projects - Qaqun (Qaqun Fortress)|publisher=Israeli Antiquities Authority|accessdate=2007-12-12|url=http://www.iaa-conservation.org.il/Projects_Item_eng.asp?site_id=39&subject_id=11&id=69] The plan is to rehabilitate the site and turn it into a "focal point that will draw tourism."

ee also

*List of villages depopulated during the Arab-Israeli conflict

References


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