Pottery remains from the early Roman period have been found here, together with architectural remains and pottery fragments from the Late Roman period. A quarry has also been excavated.
The village's name comes from the Arabic word for "the caves".
The village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1555 a tax was paid on silk spinning. In 1596 the village appeared in the tax registers as Magar Hazur, located in the nahiya of Tabariyya, part of Sanjak Safad with an entirely Muslim population consisting of 169 households and 17 bachelors. The villagers paid a fixed tax rate of 25% on various agricultural products, including wheat, barley, olive trees, goats and/or beehives, in addition on a press for olives or grapes, a total of 14,136 akçe.
In 1838, el Mughar was noted as a Christian and Druze village in the Esh-Shagur district, located between Safad, Acca and Tiberias.
In 1875 Victor Guérin found the village, which he called el-Mehar, to be a large one with 1200 inhabitants. It was divided into three quarters, with Muslim, Christian and Druse inhabitants. In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described El Mughar as a "large stone-built village, containing about 1,100 Moslems, Druses, and Christians, situated on the slope of the hill, with extensive olive-groves to the south and west; a large spring and birkeh
gives a good supply of water."
A population list from about 1887 showed El Mughar el Hazzur to have about 1,360 inhabitants; 180 Muslims, 625 Druze and 420 Catholic Christians.
In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Mughar wa Mansura had a total population of 1377. Of these, 265 were Muslim, 676 Druze and 436 Christians. All the Christians were Roman Catholic. In the 1931 census the population of Maghar, together with Al-Mansura, was a total of 1733, in 373 inhabited houses. Of these, 307 were Muslim, 549 Christians, and 877 Druze.
In the 1945 statistics the population of Maghar, together with Al-Mansura, was 2,140; 90 Muslims, 800 Christians and 1,250 others. who owned 55,583 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey. 7,864 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 18,352 for cereals, while 55 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
State of Israel
Olive groves in Maghar
During Operation Hiram, 29-31 October 1948, the town surrendered to the advancing Israeli army. Many of the inhabitants fled north but some stayed and were not expelled by the Israeli soldiers. The town remained under Martial Law until 1966.
During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, two residents of Maghar were killed and several wounded in Hezbollah rocket and cluster bomb attacks. On July 25, Doua Abbas, 15, was killed by a rocket that hit her house. On August 4, Manal Azzam, a 27-year-old mother of two, was killed, and two other residents were seriously wounded when a rocket hit their apartment building.
In August 2003, the Israel Circus School established a joint Jewish-Arab "Children's Circus" together with its partner, Circus Maghar. A group of 20 Jewish and Arab children trained for the circus. In addition to local performances, the circus school toured Cyprus, giving workshops and performances for Christian and Muslim schools and community centers.
Suliman Bashear, was a leading Druze Arab scholar and professor, who taught at Birzeit University, An-Najah National University, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Bashear was noted for his work on the early historiography of Islam.
Daud Turki, a Palestinian-Arab poet and the leader of the Jewish-Arab socialist group called the Red Front.