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For the surname, see Abboud. For the Romanian village of Abud, see Ghindari.
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic عابود
 • Also spelled 'Aboud (official)
Abboud (unofficial)
Aboud, seen from the south
Aboud, seen from the south
Aboud is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Aboud within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°00′54.06″N 35°04′05.28″E / 32.0150167°N 35.0681333°E / 32.0150167; 35.0681333Coordinates: 32°00′54.06″N 35°04′05.28″E / 32.0150167°N 35.0681333°E / 32.0150167; 35.0681333
Palestine grid 156/158
Governorate Ramallah & al-Bireh
 • Type Village council
 • Head of Municipality Elias Azar
 • Jurisdiction 15,000 dunams (15.0 km2 or 5.8 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 2,084
Name meaning Abud, personal name, from "to worship"[1]

Aboud or 'Abud (Arabic: عابود‎, `Ābūd) is a Palestinian village in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the central West Bank, Palestinian territories, about 22 kilometers northwest of Ramallah and 30 kilometers north of Jerusalem. Other nearby towns include al-Lubban to the northeast and Bani Zeid to the northwest. Aboud's population is mostly Christian. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the village had a population of approximately 2,084 inhabitants in 2007.[2] Near the village are a large number of natural springs which are sources for the Yarkon River.


There is evidence of Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman occupation.[3] In the Crusader period it was known as Casale Santa Maria.[3] In 1225, Yaqut al-Hamawi noted Aboud was a "small town in Filastin Province, near Jerusalem. The name is Hebrew, and [has] become Arabicized."[4] Arab historian al-Maqrizi mentioned it in the 14th century.[3]

Ottoman era[edit]

Later it appeared in Ottoman tax records as belonging to the nahiya ("sub-district") of Ramla, part of the Sanjak of Gaza.

In 1596 it had a population of 19 Christian households and 16 Muslim households, and paid taxes on wheat, barley, and other produce.[5] It was later a part of the Bani Zeid administrative region, still under the Ottomans.[3]

In 1870 the French explorer Victor Guérin found that Aboud contained eight hundred inhabitants, half "Schismatic Greek" and half Muslims.[6]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village as "a large and flourishing Christian village, of stone, the houses nearly all marked with the Cross in red paint," with a population of 400 Orthodox Christians and 100 Muslims.[7]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Aboud had a population of 754, 402 Christians and 352 Muslim.[8] At the time of the 1931 census the population had increased to 910, 470 Christians and 440 Muslims, in 215 houses.[9]

In 1945 the population was 1,080, all Arabs, while the total land area was 15,007 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[10] Of this, 4,843 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 1,905 for cereals,[11] while 55 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[12]

Ancient churches[edit]

Adjacent to Aboud lies an ancient monastery named after Saint Barbara. Located on a hill due west of the village, the Church of Saint Barbara was erected in the Byzantine Period.[3] Archaeologists trace its history back to 6th century CE.[13] By the church, ancient catacombs have been uncovered whose dating is uncertain. One of the burial caves is especially grandiose, with a door post decorated with carvings of wreaths, grape vines and grape clusters standing at its entrance.[3] Locals consider it to be the oldest and most sacred of Aboud's churches. Palestinian Christians visit the church annually on 17 December to celebrate the festival of St. Barbara's Day. On 31 May 2002, the church was blown up by the Israeli army. The Israeli military claimed they were unaware of the church's significance and demolished it by mistake.[13]

Al-Abudiyah Church, also known as Saint Mary's Church, lies in the center of Aboud and was presumably founded during the Crusader period of rule in Palestine with the name Casal Santa Maria. However, an Aramaic inscription on a vault in the church indicates that it was founded centuries before the arrival of Crusader, but fell into disrepair. According to the inscription it was rebuilt in 1058 CE during the Fatimid era. In the 18th century an additional wall as well as several windows and doors were constructed. Restorations occurred in 1997, with the replacement of cement plaster in the vaulting of the church with traditional mortar, the cleaning of stones inside the church, the repaving of the atrium and the construction of a reinforcing northern wall.[3] In 2013 Christians from the UK in St Ives, Cambridgeshire worked on a project with the Church choir of the Mary Mother of Sorrows Church in Aboud to record The Mary Prayers as a fund raising initiative. Proceeds from the sales of the CD or downloads are directed to humanitarian projects for the Muslims and Christians in Aboud.

There are also churches dedicated to St. Anastasia (to the south of the village) and St. Theodore (in the center of the village), both from the 7th–8th centuries.[14]


Historically, Aboud's economy was centered on agriculture, specifically olives—which today take up 43% of village lands. In total, 57% of Aboud's lands are cultivable with olives, figs, apples, grapes, and almonds being grown. Its primary agricultural products are olive oil, olive-based soap, dried figs and almonds. Agriculture in 2005, accounted for 19% of the village's labor force. The remaining 81% work in the governmental and private sectors, construction and animal husbandry. Following the Second Intifada which began in 2000, the inhabitants who worked in Israel (10% of Aboud's labor force) lost their jobs there.[13]

West Bank barrier[edit]

The Israeli West Bank barrier is being built adjacent to Aboud, on lands belonging to its inhabitants. Israeli authorities had previously uprooted over 35 olive trees in the village in 2003.[13] For this reason, since 18 November 2005, weekly demonstrations against the fence have been held in the village. Participants in the demonstrations, which take place on Fridays, include residents of the village, peace activists (mostly members of Anarchists Against the Wall), and activists from foreign countries. The demonstrations in the village are organized by the village council and is part of a larger struggle against the barrier.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 221
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.112.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g H. Taha (1997). "A salvage excavation at the 'Abudiyah Church in Abud – Samaria" (PDF). Liber Annuus 47: 359–374 and plates 17–20. 
  4. ^ Yaqut al-Hamawi quoted in le Strange, 1890, p. 382.
  5. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 156
  6. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. 87 - 90
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 289
  8. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramallah, p. 16
  9. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 47
  10. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 64
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 111
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 161
  13. ^ a b c d 'Aboud, the city of flowers, threatened by the Israeli Segregation Wall Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem. 2005-06-09.
  14. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 825


External links[edit]