Al-Masara

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Al-Masara
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic المعصرة
 • Also spelled Al-Ma'sara (official)
Protest in al-Masara
Protest in al-Masara
Governorate Bethlehem
Founded 1930
Government
 • Type Local Development Committee
 • Head of Municipality Mahmoud Alaeddin
Area
 • Jurisdiction 973 dunams (1.0 km2 or 0.4 sq mi)
Population (2007[1])
 • Jurisdiction 803
Name meaning "the Press"

Al-Masara (Arabic: المعصرة‎, pronounced al-Ma'sara; translation: "the press") is a Palestinian village in the central West Bank, 6.2 km southwest of Bethlehem, part of the Bethlehem Governorate. It is surrounded by a number of smaller Palestinian villages including Khallet al-Haddad to the east.[2] The population was 803 in the 2007 census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).[1]

Its name "the press" derives from the Byzantine Empire-era olive press still located in al-Ma'sara.[2] In 1883 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) noted "heaps of stoned and cisterns" in the area.[3] The modern town was founded in 1930 by members of the Arab al-Zawahra and at-Ta'mirah tribes. A seven-member local development committee was established by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to administer the village, most which is located in Area B giving the PNA jurisdiction over al-Ma'sara's civil affairs.[2] The head of the committee is Mahmoud Alaeddin.[4]

There is one mosque, al-Ma'sara Mosque, a primary and secondary school in the village. Agriculture accounts for 70% of al-Ma'sara's economic activity while the civil sector make up 16%. The total land area is 973 dunams, of which 42 dunams are designated built-up. Most of the remainder is arable land, 505 dunams of which are cultivated.[2]

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