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Arraba, Jenin

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Title: Arraba, Jenin  
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Subject: Peasants' revolt in Palestine, Jenin Governorate, Al-Yamun, Jenin, Sahl Arraba
Collection: Jenin Governorate, Throne Villages, Towns in the West Bank
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Arraba, Jenin

Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic عرّابة
 • Also spelled Arrabah (official)
Arrabeh (unofficial)
Northern view
Northern view
Arraba is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Arraba within the Palestinian territories
Governorate Jenin
 • Type Municipality (from 1995)
 • Head of Municipality Adnan Musa
 • Jurisdiction 39,558 dunams (39.6 km2 or 15.3 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 9,920
Name meaning "A steppe"[1]

Arraba (Arabic: عرّابةALA-LC ʻArrābah), also Arrabah, Arrabeh or Arrabet Jenin, a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank located 13 kilometers southwest of Jenin. It has an elevation of 350 meters above sea level and lies near Sahl Arrabah, a plain that lies between Mount Carmel and Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) census, Arraba had a population 9,920 in 2007.[2]


  • History 1
    • Ottoman era 1.1
    • British Mandate era 1.2
    • 1948-1967 1.3
    • post-1967 1.4
  • Notable residents 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4
  • External links 5


The lands of Arraba include Khirbet al-Hamam and Tel el-Muhafer, either of which believed to be the site of the Canaanite town Arubboth from the Books of Kings (Rubutu in the Egyptian documents) and the city Narbata of the Roman period.[3][4] Tell Dothan is located just north-east of Arraba.

Ottoman era

Arraba, like the rest of Palestine, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and in the census of 1596, the village was located in the nahiya of Jabal Sami in the liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 81 households and 31 bachelors, all Muslim. Taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, occasional revenues, goats and beehives, and a press for olives or grapes.[5]

Arraba is the origin of the Abd al-Hadi clan, once a leading landowning family in the districts of Afula, Baysan, Jenin, and Nablus.[6][7] The clan was traditionally opposed to the Touquan-clan of Nablus. In the 1850´s the Ottoman rulers withdrew their soldiers from the district (to be used in the Crimean War), and hence open hostility ensued between the different Palestinian fractions.[8] The Abd al-Hadis sacked several villages, some of the results were shown to the British consul Rogers and his sister, when they visited Arraba in 1856.[8][9]

In April 1859 a combination of Ottoman troops and local leaders opposed to the Abd al-Hadi clan, stormed Arraba. The Abd al-Hadi clan either fled or were captured, while the fortifications of Arraba were razed and the place plundered. With this the Ottomans had crushed the last major independent local rule in the Nablus region.[8][10][11]

French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1870, and described it: "This town is situated on a plateau. ... It is divided into three quarters, one of which was once surrounded by a wall flanked with small towers. This wall is now in great part destroyed, having been overthrown in a siege sustained some years ago during a revolt against the Caimacam of Nablus".[12] In the 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Arrabeh as "a very large village on the south slope of a ridge, the northern houses on high ground. There is a small mosque in the centre, and one or two large buildings, including the Sheikh's house. The water supply is entirely from wells within the village, and on the road-side towards the north. There is a ridge of very barren rock between the village on the south and the plain (Merj 'Arrabeh) on the north. Scattered olives grow round the village, but the immediate neighbourhood is very bare. The villagers are turbulent and rich, owning very fine lands in the northern plain."[13]

In 1913-14 the Ottomans built a section of the Jezreel Valley railway (itself a branch of the now defunct Hejaz railway) that passed through Arraba and ended in Nablus.[14]

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Arrabeh had a population of 2,196, all Muslim.[15] In the 1931 census it had increased to a population of 2,500, still all Muslim, in 554 inhabited houses.[16] In 1945 the population was 3,810 Arabs with 39,901 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[17] 5 dunams were used for citrus or bananas, 3,568 dunams were used for plantations and irrigable land, 23,357 dunams for cereals,[18] while 315 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[19]


In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Arraba came under Jordanian rule.


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Arraba has been under Israeli occupation.

Notable residents


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 179
  2. ^ 2007 Locality Population Statistics. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  3. ^ Zertal, Adam; Arubboth, Hepher, and the Third Solomonic District, 1984: 72-76, 112-114, 133-136
  4. ^ Na'aman, Nadav; Canaan in the second millennium B.C.E., 2005: 212.
  5. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 128. Note typo in grid number, see talk.
  6. ^ Lesch, Ann M.; "Abd al-Hadi Family," Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa.
  7. ^ Doumani, 1995, Chapter: Egyptian rule, 1831-1840.
  8. ^ a b c Schölch, 1993, p. 211-227
  9. ^ Rogers, 1865, p. 236 ff
  10. ^ Rogers, 1865, p. 414 ff, on the children of Salih Abd al-Hadi
  11. ^ Poujoulat, 1861, p. 291 ff: on Mahmoud Abd al-Hadi, exiled in Beirut
  12. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. 218 ff, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 154. Guérin also wrote: "Arrabeh has certainly succeeded an ancient town of which no mention is anywhere made. Probably it bore the name of the present town. There still remain cisterns cut in the rock, and a great many cut stones built up in modern houses. Before the Mohammedan conquest a church stood here, from the materials of which a mosque has been erected. This is now, in its turn, falling into ruins. We remarked above the entrance a beautiful monolithic lintel in white marble, in the middle of which was formerly engraved a cross with equal branches, which the Moslems have chipped out. It occupied the middle of a rectangle flanked by two triangles, one on either side, all three framed in a kind of rectangular cartouche. The lintel is alone sufficient to fix the date of the church at the period assigned by me. The church was decorated internally with columns having Corinthian capitals, and fluting half spiral, half vertical. Some fragments of the shafts still remain in the mosque, together with a beautiful piece of frieze formerly sculptured with interlaced links."
  13. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 154
  14. ^ Gilbar, Gad G.; Ottoman Palestine, 1800-1914: Studies in Economic and Social History, 1990; 197
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Jenin, p. 29
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 67
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 54
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 98
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 148


  • Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922. Government of Palestine. 
  • Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft.  
  • Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine. 
  • Poujoulat, Baptistin (1861). La vérité sur la Syrie et l'expédition française. Gaume frères et J . Duprey. 
  • Rogers, Mary Eliza (1865). Domestic life in Palestine. Poe & Hichcock. 
  • Schölch, Alexander (1993). Palestine in Transformation, 1856-1882: Studies in Social, Economic, and Political Development.  

External links

  • Welcome To 'Arabba
  • SWP map 11, IAA
  • , Wikimedia commons
  • The Municipality's official website (Arabic)
  • Throne villages, with Abdel-Hadi palaces in Aarrabeh, RIWAQ
  • Beshara Doumani's Rediscovering Palestine Contains an account of the relations between Jabal Nablus and the Ottomans. (Full text ).
  • Palestine remembered
  • 11 Stop Work Orders in the Villages of Barta’a Al Sharqiya and Arraba - Jenin Governorate, 23, February, 2012, ARIJ
  • Stop-work Orders for Commercial Structures in 'Arraba 17, May, 2012, ARIJ
  • Riwaq database of historical buildings (Arabic)
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