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Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

The Prohibited Transit Toll.

Soon after Achmad Djizer Pacha had assumed the government of Akko, he prohibited the so-called Kafar, or transit toll, which every village took upon itself to exact from all passing through it. But in order to convince himself whether he was obeyed or not, he undertook frequent journeys through the country, accompanied by a small force. Before he entered a village, he would send some one in advance, to discover whether he would be allowed to pass unmolested, or whether the Kafar would be demanded. If he was actually detained, he himself came up quite indifferently, and pretended to be a mere stranger to the matter, until he had in person convinced himself fully that the prohibited Kafar was actually demanded; when the greatest offender in the matter was instantly seized and hung up on the spot in the public street, and suffered to remain suspended a long time as a terror to the others. Such scenes were enacted in many villages and towns. All this produced such a dread among the Arabs and Bedouins, that so long as this Pacha ruled, the Kafar was not heard of any more.

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