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Welcome To The City of Haifa
District of Haifa
حيفا - חֵיפָה
Ethnically cleansed days ago

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Town Statistics and Facts

Statistic/Fact

Value
Occupation date

April 23rd,1948

Elevation from the sea Elevation varied between 50 meters in the coastal area to 500 meter on Mount Carmel.
Maps Map of Haifa city


Map of Haifa district and neighboring villages

Attacking Israeli force The Zionist forces were made up of 5,000 soldiers mostly organized by Haganah (Carmeli Brigade) and some IZL troops. The attack on Arab Haifa started on the 21st of April and was initiated from Hadara Ha Carmel (Haifa's Jewish neighborhood), which aimed to split the city into three separate and isolated pockets (operation Misbarayim meaning scissor).

The 1st attacking force was directed from Wadi Rashmya towards the Northeastern neighborhoods of Arab Haifa, the 2nd attacking force was directed toward the Arab neighborhood next to the port, and the 3rd attacking was directed toward the commercial district.

Click here, to read more about the battle for for Haifa in Arabic.

City defenders The city was poorly defended with 350-500 Palestinian volunteers and some Arab Liberation Army (ALA). Haifa's defense was headed by Ahmad al-Huneiti (a Jordanian national), who was killed on March 17th, 1948 while supplying the city with a major arms shipment, 12 tons of explosives, from Beirut-Lebanon. This arms shipment was meant to reinforce Haifa's crumbling defenses, and to boost it moral. Based on a tip from a British commander stationed in the area, a Haganah force that was stationed nearby Kiryat Motzkin, a Zionist colony between Haifa and Acre, ambushed and killed Mr. al-Huneiti. The death of Ahmad al-Huneiti had a major demoralizing affect on Haifa's Arab population. On March 27th, 1948, Ameen 'Izz al-Deen took up the responsibility of defending Haifa until its surrender on the April 23rd, 1948.

Just prior to the city's surrender, close to 300 fighters from the al-Tira, a Palestinian village located 7 km southeast of Haifa, attempted to reinforce Haifa's crumbling defenses. As they headed down to Arab Haifa, they were confronted by a British force commanded by General Stockholm, who commanded Haifa's British forces at the time, and they were forced to turn back. The people of al-Tira are a very good example of how a poorly armed, but well determined and stubborn fighters, can stand up to the Zionist might. Despite all the odds, al-Tira withstood a siege and an onslaught for more than three months until its occupation in late July 1948.

It should be noted that close to 700 of Transjordan's Arab Legionnaires (who were give strict orders not intervene by H.M. King Abdullah and their commanding British officer Gloub Pasha) stood by while Haifa was being ethically cleansed and occupied.

Click here, to read more about the battle for for Haifa in Arabic.

Acts of terror
  • On December 30th ,1947, a Zionist terrorist planted a bomb in the Arab neighborhood where Palestinian Arab workers from nearby Palestine Oil Refinery used to live. As a result 6 Palestinians were killed, and 41 others were injured. Next morning, the Arab workers rioted in the Oil Refinery and attacked the Jewish workers to avenge the death of their Arab brothers, which resulted in the killing of 41 Jewish workers. In response, the Haganah and IZL forces retaliated by perpetrating the New Years Eve Massacre at Balad al-Shaykh, which resulted in the killing of close to 60 innocent men, women, and children. It should be noted that the people of Balad al-Shaykh had nothing to do with Oil Refinery riots, and the Haganah made the choice of picking an easy target to avenge the death of the Jewish workers at the Oil Refinery .
  • On February 29th ,1948, Zionist terrorists rolled downs a barrel of explosives from Haifa's Jewish neighborhood, Hadara Ha Carmel, into al-'Abasyah Arab neighborhood, which resulted in the destruction of most of the neighborhood. The bomb ended up terrorizing the nearby Arab neighborhoods into fleeing soon after that incident.
  • On March 22nd, 1948, Zionist terrorists disguised as British officers planted a car bomb in Iraq Street that killed and injured 36 people, mostly women and children, plus the destruction of several public buildings.
Ethnic cleansing Based on declassified Israeli documents, the Israeli historian Benny Morris concluded that the Jewish civilian population (especially Haifa's Jewish mayor Shabtai Levy) was at peace with their Palestinian neighbors, but the Haganah and the IZL leadership had a different agenda to ethnically cleanse the city from its Palestinian Arab population. Benny Morris wrote:

"In Haifa, the civilian authorities were saying one thing and the Haganah was doing something else altogether. Moreover, Haganah units in the field acted inconsistently and in a manner often unintelligible to the Arab population" (Benny Morris, p. 90).

To expedite the ethnic cleansing process, the Haganah broadcasted terror messages, via loudspeakers, to psychologically terrorize the Arab inhabitants into fleeing. (Benny Morris, p. 76)

According to Ben-Gurion's biographer, Micheal Bar-Zohar, the dispatching of Golda Meir to Haifa soon after the city's occupation was nothing but a political and tactical ploy, Zohar wrote:,

"The appeals to the Arabs [of Haifa] to stay, Golda's mission, and other similar gestures were the result of political considerations, but they did not reflect [Ben-Gurion's] basic stand. In internal discussions, in instructions to his people, the 'old man' demonstrated a clear stand: it was better that the smallest possible number of [Palestinian] Arabs remain with in the [Jewish] state." (Simha Falpan, p. 84)

Out of the 61,000 Palestinian Arabs who used to call Haifa home, only 3,566 Palestinians were allowed to stay. The remaining population were in constant fear on their lives and properties, and many of them witnessed the looting of their homes and possessions by the Zionists.

Click here, to read more about the battle for for Haifa in Arabic.

Refugees' migration route The mass majority of Haifa's Palestinian population, numbering at least 35,000, were pushed into the sea. Similarly, Jaffa's population, numbering at least 50,000, suffered the same fate on May 13th,1948. Click here to view a map that illustrates refugees' migration routes.

Via boats, many Palestinian refugees landed in Sour (Tyre), Sayda, and Beirut Lebanon, and some boats managed to land in Acre City. It's very sad that some of the people who landed in Acre were ethnically cleansed again few weeks later.

Ironically, often Zionists accuse the Arabs of plotting to push the Jews into the sea!
City name through history The city's name is derived from the Canaanite Arabic word al-Hayfah meaning nearby, and during the Roman period it was known by Efa. The Crusades called Haifa by Cayphas and sometime they referred to it also by Sycaminon (meaning Wild Strawberry which is abandoned in the area). During the Islamic period, Acre dominated the coastal area, and Haifa was just a small town.

It is worth pointing out that Haifa is a modern and new city, which was initially developed by the Ottomans, and later on by the British Mandate and the Israelis.

District's size Haifa's district covered an area of 1,031.76 square kilometers, of which Jews owned 364.28 square kilometers (35.3% of the overall district size). In 1945, the district was made of 52 villages, and 14 bedouin localities. The Israeli Zionists destroyed all of these villages and bedouin localities with the exception of 'Ablein, Shefa 'Amr, 'Ibtin, 'Ara and 'Ar'ara, Kafer Qare'a, 'Aseifa, and Dalyat al-Karmel (Palestinian Druze village).
District's
population distribution
Year Total Muslim
Arabs
Christian
Arabs
Jews
1911 23,440 19,244 3,282 914
1916 30,737 23,823 3,691 1,117
1922 42,839 23,305* 11,032 6,425
1931 95,472** 52,830 16,492 23,367
1945 224,630 85,590 30,200 104,510
* In the Ottoman's period, Haifa district was made off 62 villages and that may have accounted for the population drop down in 1922.
** The number of houses in the municipality in 1931 was 21,335.
District's
agricultural production
Crops*

Arab

Jewish

Grain 4,393 1,683
Cereal 4,134 1,722
Lentil 540 80
Corn 2,100 36
Sesame 438 N/A
Olive 3,900 550
Watermelon 4,995 1,444
Grape 1,618 4,727
Fig 680 10
Almond 28 25
Vegetables 13,310 10,060
Citrus** 83 17,105
Banana** 6 53

Note that the above data are based upon 1945 statistics.
* In metric tons
** In dunums

District's main
wadies and rivers
River/Wadi

Note

al-Muqtta'
River
-N/A
Wadi al-Tira This wadi carries rainwater East of the al-Tira and at that point it's known by Wadi al-Kasab, and at its termination point it's also known by Wadi al-Musrara.
Wadi al-Fallah A small wadi that originates from Khirbat al-Damun, and it terminates nearby 'Atlit al-Shamlyah.
Wadi al-Mugharah A winter wadi which originates from Dalyat al-Karmel, and passes through 'Ijzim, Jaba', and Khirbat al-Shyahk, and it terminates between 'Atlit and al-Sarafand.
This wadi is known to Israelis by Nahl Me'arot.
Wadi al-Difla The rainwater falling on 'Umm al-Zaynat, al-Rayhanyah, Dalyat al-Rawha, and Khirbat 'Umm al-Dufouf ends up feeding this wadi, then it passes through 'Umm al-Jamal (Beit Shelomo) and Shafya, and finally it terminates 4 (km) south of al-Tantura.
al-Zarqa' River It's also known by al-Timsah river, since crocodiles used to inhabit the river at its termination point. The river waters originates from al-Kafryn, al-Butymat, al-Khubyzah, 'Umm al-Shuf, Sabareen, al-Sindyanah, and Ben Yaminah, and it terminates 5 km North of Qisarya
al-Mufjar River

Click here, for a map of the nearby wadies and rivers.

City size In 1945, the city covered an area of 54,305 dunums, of which 5,890 for roads and railroads.
Distance
from other towns
Town Distance From Jaffa
'Atlit 16 (km) south west
Baysan 71 (km) east via Jinijar
Tulkarm 75 (km) via Kirbat al-Sarkas
al-Tantura 29 (km) south west
al-Lydd 105 (km) south west
Nablus 94 (km) via Jinin
Jaffa 99 (km) via the new Lake Shore Drive (LSD) built in 1937.
Sour (Tiri), Lebanon 62 (km) north
Sayda, Lebanon 101 (km) north
Population
1922-1973
Year Total Muslim
Arabs
Christian
Arabs
Jews
1922 24,634 9,377 8,863 6,230
1931 50,483 20,401 13,827 15,923
1938 99,090 51,090* N/A 48,000
1945 138,300 35,940 26,570 75,500 (54.5%)
1949 88,893 3,566* N/A 85,327
1950 120,700 5,700* N/A N/A
1951 140,000 N/A N/A N/A
1955 158,700 N/A N/A N/A
1961 183,000 N/A N/A N/A
1961 209,900 N/A N/A N/A
1970 N/A 17,000* N/A N/A
1973 225,800 N/A N/A N/A
* The statistic includes Muslim and Christian Arabs.
Number of houses In 1931, Haifa had 12,364 houses.
Schools
School Type Notes
Government The government managed three schools:


1- Complete senior high school for boys, and in 1942 it had an enrollment of 461 students and 21 instructors.

2-Elementary school for girls, and in 1942 it had an enrollment of 442 students and 12 instructors.

3-Industrial school for boys founded in 1936. The school used to accept honor elementary students, and it offered a three year program in carpentry, locksmith, industrial machinery, car mechanics, ... etc. In 1945, this school had an enrollment of 69 student.

Muslim Altogether, Haifa had 10 Islamic schools, which all had an enrollment of 1,297 boys and 453 girls. These schools had 53 instructors.
Christian Altogether, Haifa had 18 Christian schools (including foreign schools), which all had an enrollment of 2,406 boys and 2,042 girls. These schools had 38 instructors.
City neighborhoods Haifa before occupation was made up of the following neighborhoods:
The Old City, al-Khamrah square, Suq al-'Abyad, al-Markaz al-Kadeem, Daraj Saqreiq, Hadarah Ha Carmel, al-'Abasyah, al-Nabi Sha'nan (al-Halaqah), Tel al-Samak, Beit Kaleim, Madraset al-'Anbiya, al-Khayat Coast (southeast), Wadi al-Salib, Wadi al-Nisnass, Burg al-Salam, Central station/al-Markaz, al-Hamra square (now Paris Square), Rashmaya, Ra'as al-Carmel, The Germany Colony (built in the 1860s southwest of the city center) ... etc.

Click here, for a detail map of Haifa's neighborhood before occupation.

Hospitals The Government of Palestine owned and operated a hospital in the city which had a capacity of 261 beds, and it accepted 6,337 patients in 1944.

The Jewish community in Haifa had five hospitals, three of these were private hospitals, where all these Jewish hospitals had a capacity of 177 beds.

Industries Palestine Oil Refinery (located northeast) which was founded in 1933 to refine the Iraqi oil, cement, cigarettes (Qaraman, Deik, iw-Salti), publications (Haifa had three Arabic newspapers), textiles, olive and grape presses, several grain mills, ice production, wood processing, soap, fishing (mostly Arab owned), and industrial machinery for the railroads.

Since Israeli still maintains and enforces the "Law Of Absentees", all Haifa's industries, farms, buses, cars, railroads, cattle, real states, ... etc. have been looted and became the property of the "Jewish state". When similar injustices were perpetrated against Europe's Jewish citizens during WWII (by the Germans and the Swiss), the Jews of the world demanded justice for their looted art works and properties. The question which begs to be asked is :-

Are the Palestinian people entitled for compensation for their looted properties?

Airport Haifa's airport was located north west of the city center. In 1944, 175 plans landed in the airport which carried total of 514 passengers and 13,528 tons of goods.

Before Nakba, Palestine had three operational airports at al-Lydd, Haifa, and Kalyah, and in 1944, all of these airports received 2,207 plans which altogether carried 5,582 passengers.

Port In 1908, the Ottoman Turks were the first to invest and develop Haifa's port , and since then the city and its port have experienced a very rapid growth. In 1929, the Government of Palestine invested heavily into Haifa City and especially in its port (almost 1.25 million Palestinian Pounds) because of the need to refine and export the Iraqi oil, and it in 1933 the port was officially opened for business. It should be noted that when the port was first opened for business, and probably until the present day, it was considered to be the most modern and well equipped port in the Mediterranean, and second to the French port of Marcel.

The port loading dock had a length of 400 meters and depth of 9 meters, and it was capable of accepting 3 to 4 big ship at the loading docks, or 20 ships next to the retaining walls. The main Haifa railroad line had a connection leading into the port to ease the import and export of goods. At the time, Haifa's Port was also well equipped with modem cranes to expedite the loading and unloading of the parking ships to and from railcars and trucks. Over all , the port used to employee 1,400 people.

Currently, Haifa's port is considered to be Israel's main port, and in 1971 it received 56% of its total shipping. Tel Aviv, Isdud, and 'Ilat are the other main ports in Israel. Jaffa's old port was decommissioned as soon as Isdud's port became operational in the 1965.

Comparison between
Jaffa and Haifa ports
Year Haifa* Jaffa*
Imports Exports Imports Exports
1932 273,411 54,164 221,113 106,824
1933 410,410 71,732 348,797 96,888
1934 589,203 99,756 486,974 120,967
1935 787,307 138,427** 402,524 171,819
1936 756,722 1,640,028 163,134 117,156
* In metric tons
** Oil exports not included
Port's
import and exports
Year Imports* Exports*
1928 2,167,845 269,851
1929 2,461,833 412,812
1930 2,410,470 480,763
1931 2,085,055 425,437
1932 2,893,543 586,634
1933 4,260,045 893,541
1934 6,216,055 1,208,721
1935 8,455,765 1,707,421
1936 8,627,065 1,690,025
1937 9,300,274 3,167,225
1938 6,884,187 2,618,651
1939 7,891,600 2,926,173
* In Palestinian pound
City's income and expenses
Year Income* Expenses*
1927 25,953 25,098
1932 50,252 42,788
1935 111,213 86,993
1939 122,477 103,955
1940 133,575 127,980
1943 232,790 241,959
1944 352,862 328,576
* In Palestinian Pound
Rainfall and humidity
Year Rainfall* Humidity
1926 678.3 N/A
1927 514.4 N/A
1928 779.1 N/A
1929 680 N/A
1930 789.5 N/A
1931 494.8 N/A
1932 397.3 N/A
1933 589.9 N/A
1934 548.7 N/A
1935 461 N/A
1936 629.2 N/A
1937 807.2 N/A
1938 600.0 59%
1939 481.2 62%
1940 523.7 N/A
1941 332.6 N/A
1942 695.2 69%
1943 470.6 70%
1944 N/A 71%
* In millimeters
Average temperature
Month/1944 Average* Average Hi* Average Low*
January 11.2 14.4 7.9
February 12.8 16.3 9.2
March 14.9 19.2 10.6
April 18.6 23.2 13.6
May 18.9 22.6 15.1
June 23 27 20.9
July 24.2 27.5 20.9
August 24.4 27.8 21.1
September 23.6 26.8 20.3
October 22.4 26.1 18.7
November 17.2 20.5 14
December 12.9 15.9 10
Overall Avg. 18.7 22.3 15.1
* In centigrade.
For conversion purposes, temperature of 24 centigrade = 75 fahrenheit.
Fishing industry
Season Quantity in Tons Worth in Palestinian Pound
1922 131 16,745
1923 126 13,459
1924 226 17,494
1925 128 10,283
1925-1926 133 8,242
1927-1928 182 12,048
1928-1929 342 16,041
1933-1934 422 17,329
1934-1935 502 17,535
1935-1936 651 19,203
1937-1938* 631 14,168
1938-1939 439 15,532
1939-1940 463 16,586
1940-1941 345 16,693
1941-1942 308 26,679
1942-1943 408 71,840
1943-1944 535 136,720
1944-1945 556 138,740
* Palestine's total fishing for this year was 1,699 tons.
Note: All fishing in the Haifa area was Palestinian owned and operated.

Bibliography

Our primary sources for the above data was Biladuna Filisteen (second set, volume four) by Mustafa Murad al-Dabagh and The Palestine Encyclopedia.

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Display Name Clan/Hamolah Country of Residence
Mohammad Haifawi Haifawi Haifa, Palestine
نادر -حيفا ابو الرب السعودية, الرياض
Nabil Mir3i Mir3i Occupied Haifa, Occupied Palestine
Emad Ghaben - United States
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eng.osama shaheen -
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أوس داوود يعقوب - دمشق, سوريا
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ماجد حردان - -
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Mahmoud Ramzi - -
RAMI ALKHALIL الخليل -
رشا رباني الحمولة damascus/yarmouk, syria
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ابو حسن - zarqa
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2008ghazzawi - -
يوسف صبح صبح فلسطين, فلسطين
ahmed saad - Irbed - JORDAN, Jordan
محمد محمود رجا جعايصة جعايصة الزرقاء, الاردن
محمد السوالمه عبدالله عمان, فاسطين
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محمد ابو حشمه ابو حشمه -
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ناصر الخطيب الخطيب -
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مؤيد كريميد كريميد دبي
أنس - الإمارات
جبران - حلب, سوريه
دعمه - Irbed, jordan
حازم الغول 0776369369 اربد, الاردن
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أيمن صالح الحسن عوالي الكويت, الكويت
Mohammad AbouYounes AbouYounes -
قسام السعدي السعدي PARIS, France
samir asaad ghewani -
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jehan ishtawi -
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محمد خليل - -
صامد الحاج الحاج رام الله, بيت سيرا
maan sheikh-yousef sheikh-yousef n.j, u.s.a.
Riad H. Sawan - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Ahmed Alokby Alokby OR, OR
ابو جيش - -
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Mohammad AL Abtah AL Abtah -
sabri Al Haj Mahmoud U.A.E
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Mayassi Mayassi -
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احمد صالح - جنين
ضياء فياض FAYYAD Saudi arabia, saudi arabia
فهد الحسن - -
RIAD GOMAA gomaa south lebanon, lebanon
Rana Abdel Razaq Al Yahya Al Yahya Amman, Jordan
ahsan gnam gnam haifa
Omar Sbeit Sbeit -
Bashir Shibly Shibly Damascus, Syria
amjad abu el haijaa abu el haijaa -
Tarsheha Mansoura MANSOURA west bank, palestine
HANI AL-ABID AL'ABID CANADA
maged khamra khamra - elhaj haifa, haifa
khalid alaswad Al-Aswad Qatar, Qatar
Hajier Hajier Haifa -Al-Haleiseh Irbid, Jordan
Haifa City Abo Eissa Haifa
ABU IBRAHIM AUDEH SOUTH, LEBANON
Jamal Abdallah - Michigan, USA
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hanynourallah haifa 01, lebanon
Zips Levey - Forton, nr. Preston, Lancs.PR3OAQ, United Kingdom
Ayman Kallas - British Columbia, Canada
Abou Ghazaleh ABOU GHAZALEH SOUTH, LEBANON
Haytham Dar Al Haj Mahmoud Amman, Jordan
abu jenin JARRAR NY, USA
johnny mansour - Israel, Israel
munir samhan - -
Mohannad - beirut, lebanon
maher sawan - lebanon...
Nabil Aladawi -
alnawaf haifa saida, haifa
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