|Date of depopulation||May 4, 1948|
|Cause(s) of depopulation|
Al-Butayha (Arabic: لبطيحه )was a Palestinian Arab village in the District of Safad. It was depopulated during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine on May 4, 1948 by the Palmach's First Battalion of Operation Matate. It was located 13 km southeast of Safad, quarter of a mile east of the Jordan River. Many of the inhabitants were forced into Syria.
In 1945, the village had a population of 650.
Al-Butayha was situated in a hilly area next to border with Syria, approximately 0.25 km east of the Jordan River and 2 km from Lake Tiberias. The name means “marshland” in Arabic in reference to the vast stretch of land in the area. In 1459 the village was visited by the Arab geographer al-Qalqashandi. It was later classified as a hamlet by the Palestine Index Gazetteer. By 1944/45 the village occupied an area of 16,690 dunums with 3,842 dunums allocated to cereal farming and 238 dunums under irrigation or used for orchards.
ON May 4, 1948, the village was attacked by Israeli forces of Haganah’s Operation Matate (Broom), under Operation Yiftach as part of a coordinated offensive to evacuate all Arab settlement from an area north of Lake Tiberias and west of the Jordan River. According to Israeli historian Benny Morris,this operation had an impact on morale of the residents before the village itself was deopopulated and villagers along with other citizens of nearby villages, numbering some 2000 in total, had fled to Syria across the border.
Today the village lands are occupied by the settlement of Almagor which was established in 1961 and a popular picnicking spot, Park ha-Yarden is now located just 200 metres south of the site. Today only black basalt walls of destroyed houses remain of the village of Al-Butayha with many trees such as palms, olive and tall eucalyptus trees growing in the area.
- Khalidi, 1992, p.440
- Hadawi, Sami (1970), Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine, Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center
- Khalidi, Walid (1992), All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948, Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, ISBN 0-88728-224-5
- Morris, Benny (2004). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6.