|• Arabic||بيت حانون|
|• Also spelled||Beit Hanun (official)
Bayt Hanun (unofficial)
|• Head of Municipality||Mohamad Nazek al-Kafarna|
|• Jurisdiction||12,500 dunams (12.5 km2 or 4.8 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||"The house of Hanun"|
Beit Hanoun (Arabic: بيت حانون) is a city on the north-east edge of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 32,187 in mid-year 2006. It is administered by the Hamas administration. It is located by the Hanoun stream, just 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) away from the Israeli town of Sderot.
The Ayyubids defeated the Crusaders at a battle in Umm al-Nasser hill, just west of Beit Hanoun in 1239, and built the Umm al-Naser Mosque ("Mother of Victories Mosque") there in commemoration of the victory. A Mamluk post office was located in Beit Hanoun as well.
In 1838 Edward Robinson passed by, and described how "all were busy with the wheat harvest; the reapers were in the fields; donkeys and camels were moving homewards with their high loads of sheaves; while on the threshing-floors near the village I counted not less than thirty gangs of cattle.."
During the late Ottoman period, in May 1863, the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village. Among the gardens he observed indications of ancient constructions in the shape of cut stones, fragments of columns, and bases.
In 1883 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a "small mud village, surrounded by gardens, with a well to the west. The ground is flat, and to the east is a pond beside the road."
In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the vicinity of Beit Hanoun, and later Beit Hanoun itself, served as a tactical wedge (Beit Hanoun wedge), stuck by the Israel Defense Forces to disrupt the movement of the Egyptian army from Majdal to its forces to the south in the area that later became the Gaza Strip.
While under control of Egyptian authorities Egypt complained to the Mixed Armistice Commission that on the 7 and 14 October 1950 Israeli military Forces had shelled and machine-gunned the Arab villages of Abasan al-Kabera and Beit Hanoun in Egyptian controlled territory of the Gaza strip. This action caused the death of seven and the wounding of twenty civilians.
The Israeli army besieged Beit Hanoun from 15 May to 30 June 2003, during which it demolished dozens of houses, razed large areas of agricultural land and largely destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the town.
During the Raid on Beit Hanoun in 2004, the town was besieged again, this time for 37 days. About 20 Palestinians were killed and again immense damage was caused to property and infrastructure.
The infrastructure of Beit Hanoun was for another time heavily damaged during an incursion by Israeli forces in 2005.
This town is also notable for the 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun where 19 Palestinians were killed by IDF shelling. According to Israeli authorities it was in response for its use as a base from which Palestinian militant groups have fired Qassam rockets into the northern Negev towns like Sderot, as well as the former Gush Katif settlements. Five Qassam rockets were fired from the town during Barack Obama's visit to Israel on March 21, 2013. In December 2006, the UN appointed a fact-finding commission led by Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to investigate the attack. However, Tutu and the other members were not granted permission to travel by Israel and the investigation was cancelled. Tutu's final report to the United Nations human rights council concluded, however, that "[I]n the absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military – who is in sole possession of the relevant facts – the mission must conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime."
On 27 March 2007, sewage water flooded the northern Umm al-Nasser suburb of Beit Hanoun, killing five people.
During British administration
Beit Hanoun had a population of 885 in a 1922 British Mandate census. The population more than doubled by 1945. In that year, a land and population survey recorded 1,730 inhabitants including 50 Jews. In 1961, the population rose to 3,876.
In the first official census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Beit Hanoun had a total population of 20,780. Over 90% of the residents were Palestinian refugees. There were 10,479 males and 10,301 females. The age distribution was as follows: People 14 years of age or younger constituted the majority at 65.6%, people between the ages of 20 and 44 was 26.8%, 45 to 64 was 5.7% and residents above the age of 65 was 1.9%.
There are twelve secondary, primary and agricultural schools in Beit Hanoun and an agricultural college which is related to al-Azhar University - Gaza. There is a medical center and hospital in the city and several clinics mostly managed by the United Nations.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 358
- Projected Mid -Year Population for North Gaza Governorate by Locality 2004– 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
- Sharon, 1999, p. 98ff
- Beit Hanoon Municipality of Gaza.
- Robinson and Smith, 1842, II, pp. 371 -372
- Guérin, 1869, p. 175, as noted by Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 247
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 233-234
- UN Doc S/1459 of 20 February 1950 Report of the Mixed Armistice Commission
- Uprooting Palestinian Trees And Leveling Agricultural Land—The tenth Report on Israeli Land Sweeping and Demolition of Palestinian Buildings and Facilities in the Gaza Strip 1 April, 2003 – 30 April,2004. PCHR, 1 May 2004
- European Commission report MED/2004/090-716 Damage Assessment: Beit Hanoun Area 17 December 2005
- "Rockets hit Sderot as Obama visits Israel". 21 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- BBC Israel 'blocks Tutu Gaza mission'. BBC News.
- HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES Report of the high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun established under Council resolution S-3/1
- Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun a possible war crime, Desmond Tutu tells UN, The Guardian, 15 September 2008.
- Sewage flood causes Gaza deaths. BBC News, 27 March 2007
- Welcome To Bayt Hanun
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in S. Hadawi, Village Statistics, 1945. PLO Research Center, 1970, p. 45
- Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
- Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
- Our City Beithanoun Municipality.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1883). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 3. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Guérin, Victor (1869). Description Géographique, Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine. Vol 1 Judee; pt 2.
- 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.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970), Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine, Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- Sharon, Moshe (1999), Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, Vol. II, B-C, BRILL, ISBN 9004110836