The fate of abandoned arab villages in Israel, 1965-1969

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Abstract

In spring 1965 the Israel Land Administration (ILA) initiated the demolition of houses in Arab villages that had been abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, a project that was subsequently extended to the territories occupied by Israel in the June 1967 war. The Israel Archaeological Survey Society (IASS) was for all practical purposes employed by the ILA in its efforts to clear the country of deserted villages. Its officials surveyed the villages intended for destruction, since the law required their authorization before the buildings could be demolished. The article reveals that (1) most of the abandoned Arab villages disappeared as a result of a clear plan originating with the ILA; (2) the demolition of houses in the Latrun enclave and the Golan Heights immediately after the June 1967 war was to a great extent a continuation of the pre-1967 operation; and (3) archaeologists of the IASS were not only instrumental in carrying out the ILA's initiative but subordinated their scientific agenda to that of the governmental bodies with which they cooperated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-106
Number of pages21
JournalHistory and Memory
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2006

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