Anabta

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Anabta
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic عنبتا
 • Also spelled 'Anabta (official)
'Anabta and Iktaba (unofficial)
View of Anabta from the nearby town of Bal'a
View of Anabta from the nearby town of Bal'a
Anabta is located in the Palestinian territories
Anabta
Anabta
Location of Anabta within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 32°18′25.80″N 35°07′01.00″E / 32.3071667°N 35.1169444°E / 32.3071667; 35.1169444Coordinates: 32°18′25.80″N 35°07′01.00″E / 32.3071667°N 35.1169444°E / 32.3071667; 35.1169444
Governorate Tulkarm
Government
 • Type Municipality
 • Head of Municipality Yasser Barakat
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 7,329
Name meaning grapes[1]

Anabta (Arabic: عنبتا‎) is a Palestinian town in the Tulkarm Governorate in the northern West Bank, located 9 kilometers east of Tulkarm. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Anabta had a population of 7,329 inhabitants in 2007.[2] Anabta is administered by a municipal council and is one of the oldest municipalities in the Tulkarm Governorate.[3]

Etymology[edit]

Anabta is a two-part word consisting of "Anab" (Arabic for grape) and "Ta," a word referencing a Roman village. The name as evidenced by the large number of grape presses hewn in the rocks of the hills surrounding the city.[3] The name 'Anebta may also originate from 'Ain Narbata, Narbata being a place mentioned by Josephus used as a refuge from the Romans by the Jews of Caesarea in 66 CE.[4]

History[edit]

Roman and Byzantine era[edit]

During Roman and Byzantine rule over Palestine, Anabta was a Samaritan village.[5] A tradition connects the village with Dositheos, a Samaritan religious leader possibly active during the 1st-century CE.[6] The Samaritan chronicler Abu l-Fath (14th century) mentions that Dositheos died of starvation after going to 'Anbata where he hid in a cave, fasting in an effort to gain wisdom.[7] Some olive trees still existing in Anabta are said to date back to Roman times.

According to the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine, the site appeared "ancient",[8] and rock-cut tombs and a tank of good masonry had been found.[9][10]

Mamluk and Ottoman eras[edit]

During the reign of Mamluk Sultan Baibars al-Bunduqdari in the 13th century, Anabta served as a central staging point from which to supply the Muslim armies fighting Crusader and Mongol incursions. The location was chosen because it was considered relatively easy to protect as the area is nestled between two large hills.[3]

During Ottoman rule, Anabta was listed in the 1596 Ottoman tax register as being in the Nahiya of Jabal Sami of the Liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 55 Muslim households who paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops, olives, goats or beehives, and presses for grapes or olives.[11] In 1648, the Ottoman traveller Evliya Çelebi reported that the village was inhabited by 100 Druze families.[12]

In 1852, the American scholar Edward Robinson visited the village. He described it as "large and well built", with two watermills by the stream. There were many camels there, as the village was on the main route for camels from Nablus to Ramleh.[13] In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a village of moderate size, in the valley, with olives around it. It also had a mill.[8] A portion of the Hejaz Railway used to run through the centre of the town, parallel to the main street.[3]

British Mandate era[edit]

The first local council in Anabta was established in 1923 during the Mandatory Palestine. On the night of April 15, 1936, in a prelude to the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine, vehicles traveling on the road outside Anabta were attacked by armed villagers.[14] Two Jews were shot to death and a third later died of his injuries.[15] In June, a clash between local Arabs and British troops culminated in the aerial bombardment of the village.[16]

Jordanian era[edit]

In 1954, under Jordanian occupation of the West Bank, Anabta became a municipal council.[3] Between 1922 and 1947, the population increased by 110%.[17]

Israeli era[edit]

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Anabta became part of the Israeli-occupied territories, and, according to a source from 1968, underwent major development and achieved local council status.[18] According to Israel´s Ministry of Defense, the village was connected to the Israeli electric grid.[19]

Anabta lies on the edge of the Tulkarm district's Area A, an administrative division of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which means the city is under full security and civil jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority.

Geography[edit]

Anabta is located 19 kilometers west of Nablus and 9 kilometers east of Tulkarm. The town is bordered to the north by the village of Kafr Rumman, the south by the town of Kafr al-Labad, the east by the village of Ramin and the northwest by the town of Bal'a. The city is elevated 150 meters above sea level.[3][20] Surrounded by hills on all sides, a small valley that runs through the center of the town.[3] The town has an urban area of about 1,300 dunams. Most of its exterior lands are planted with olives, figs and almonds or covered by forests. Water is provided by five underground wells, with distribution supervised by the town's municipality.[21] The Israeli settlement Einav is located southeast of the city and an Israeli checkpoint is positioned at the eastern entrance of the town.[22]

Demographics[edit]

By an 1870 visitor, the population was estimated at 1,800.[23] At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine, Anabta had a population of 1,606 Muslims.[24] In the 1931 census of Palestine, the combined population of Anabta, Iktaba and Nur ash Shams was 2,457 Muslims, 34 Christians and 1 Druze living in 502 houses.[25] In 1945, the combined population of Anabta and Iktaba was 3,120.[26] In 1967, the population was 3,400, rising to 5,700 by 1987 and 8,300 by 2009.[21]

Residents of Anabta belong to two large clans, 'Amr and Al-Jetawi. These families are then divided into smaller families.[27] Anabta also contains a significant population of Palestinians from Gaza who are not classified among the families.

Education[edit]

The town has two high schools and four elementary schools that are maintained and funded by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education.[3]

Health care[edit]

The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group operates a clinic in Anabta envisaged as a centre for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy in the northern West Bank.[28]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 178
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). p. 108.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Anabta Anabta Municipality entry titled "عنبتا" (Arabic)
  4. ^ Gustaf Dalman; Paul Philip Levertoff (1935). Sacred sites and ways: studies in the topography of the Gospels. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. p. 224. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Yoram Tsafrir; Leah Di Segni; Judith Green (1994). Tabula Imperii Romani Iudaea-Palestina: Eretz Israel in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods; Maps and Gazetteer. Jerusalem: The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. p. 62. ISBN 978-965-208-107-0. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Zertal, 2000, p. 370
  7. ^ Alan David Crown (1989). The Samaritans. Mohr Siebeck. p. 320. ISBN 978-3-16-145237-6. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 158
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 170
  10. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 762
  11. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 127
  12. ^ Palestine. Department of Antiquities (1935). Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine. Pub. for the government of Palestine by H. Milford. p. 154. Retrieved 14 June 2011. "Farther south lies the village of 'Anebta, situated in a valley and inhabited Ia by one hundred Druze families" 
  13. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1856, p. 125-126
  14. ^ 'Nablus Banidits Seen as Izz ed Din's followers', Palestine Post, Friday, 17 April 1936.
  15. ^ Israel's secret wars: A history of Israel's intelligence services, Ian Black
  16. ^ Michael Williams (25 October 1936). Commonweal. Commonweal Pub. Corp. p. 266. Retrieved 14 June 2011. "A number of casualties were reported from Palestine as clashes between Arabs and British troops occurred in the Tel Aviv region. The most serious occurrence was a battle at Anabta involving bombers." 
  17. ^ Transformation in Arab Settlement, Moshe Brawer, in The Land that Became Israel: Studies in Historical Geography, Ruth Kark (ed), Magnes Press, Jerusalem 1989, p.177
  18. ^ Ori Stendel (1968). Arab villages in Israel and Judea-Samaria (the West Bank): a comparison in social development. Israel Economist. p. 30. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  19. ^ Israel. Miśrad ha-biṭaḥon (1968). The Israel administration in Judaea, Samaria and Gaza: a record of progress. Ministry of Defence. p. 53. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  20. ^ Tulkarem: town listing in a snapshot Palestine Remembered
  21. ^ a b The city of Tulkarem and its villages Palestine Information Centre.
  22. ^ Map of the Separation Barrier in the West Bank B'Tselem
  23. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 213 A cinq kilomètres au nord-oest du Kharbet Kefr Lebed, un grand village, occupant à la fois un vallon et un monticule , compte 1,800 habitants; il se nomme A'nebta, Plusieurs citernes et quelques tombeaux antiques creusés dans le roc attestent qu'il a succédé à une ancienne ville, dont la Bible ne parle pas.
  24. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p. 27
  25. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 53
  26. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 74
  27. ^ [1] Anabta Family Tree
  28. ^ Anabta eye clinic
  29. ^ Palestinian PM who resigned is asked again to form government, 13 Aug 2013.
  30. ^ "New Palestinian Authority government carbon copy of old". Los Angeles Times. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  31. ^ Rami Hamdallah

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]