Qannir Before 1948
At 35 km distance from Haifa, the village stood on slightly elevated terrain in the bilad al-rawha'. The landscape sloped toward the northern segment of the coastal plain, and a secondary road linked the village to the coastal highway. Qannir's economy was based on agriculture (primary grain and vegetables) and cattle raising. Its lands contained a number of khirbas, where the ruins of walls and cisterns were found. The village itself appears to have been constructed over an earlier, as yet unidentified, settlement.
Occupation, Depopulation, and Israeli Settlements
Qannir was attacked repeatedly in early March 1948, in the first phase of the war. The Palestinian daily Filastin reported that the village was attacked on 5 March, for the third time in a week. According to the report, the attack was repulsed by the village contingent of the national guard; no casualties were mentioned.
After the fall of Haifa in late April, some of the surrounding villages were attacked or evacuated. Israeli historian Benny Morris states that the villagers of Qannir fled on 25 April, out of fear of an attack and under the influence of the offensive against Haifa. However, Arab Liberation Army (ALA) records indicate that Qannir was still in Arab lands in early May, when it was briefly occupied by the Hagannah. ALA commander Fawzi al-Qawuqji stated in one of his dispatches that at 4:00 a.m. on 8 May, an armored assault was launched against Qannir and neighbouring Kafr Qar'. He added that the attacks were 'resisted and repelled', and that the enemy withdrew and both villages were recovered. It is not clear from either of these accounts when Haganah forces actually entered the village.
The settlement of Regavim was established on village lands in 1949. Morris writes that this settlement was moved to Qannir after having been first established at the nearby village of al-Butaymat in July 1948.
The Village Today
Stone rubble is scattered about the site, which is covered with thorns, fig trees, and cactuses. Part of the adjacent land is used by Israelis as pasture and the rest is cultivated.
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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