|• Hebrew||בֵּיתּ גַ'ן|
|• ISO 259||Beit Ǧann|
|• Also spelled||Beit Jann (unofficial)|
|• Arabic||بيت جن|
|Grid position||185/263 PAL|
|• Type||Local council|
|• Total||4,650 dunams (4.65 km2 or 1.80 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||"The house of the genie", or "The garden house"|
Beit Jann (Arabic: بيت جن; Hebrew: בֵּיתּ גַ'ן) is an Druze village on Mt. Meron, in northern Israel. At 940 meters above sea level, Beit Jann is one of the highest inhabited locations in the country. In 2009, the population was 10,500, and the inhabitants are predominantly members of the Druze community.
According to local legend, Druze families in the area lived in scattered colonies in the hills near sources of water until the 13th or 14th century. Two hunters looking for hyraxes stumbled upon a cave where they found an ancient cistern filled with water. Concluding that this was a good place for permanent settlement, several families settled on the site of what would become Beit Jann.
In 1517, the village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in 1596, Bayt Jinn appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in nahiya (subdistrict) of Akka under the liwa' (district) of Safad. It had a population of 102 households and 5 bachelors, all Muslims. They paid taxes on silk spinning (dulab harir), occasional revenues, goats and/or beehives, olive oil press and/or a press for grape syrup.
In August 1754, the missionary Stephan Schulz visited the village. He noted that the inhabitants produced water-skins, and described the grapes of the region as particularly large and fine.
The American biblical scholar Edward Robinson described Beit Jann as a "large well-built village" in 1852, with houses made of limestone. There were 260 males, all Druze, in the village. In 1875, the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village, which he called Beit Djenn. He estimated it had two hundred people, all Druze. He further noted that "A few years ago it was much larger, as is indicated by the abandoned houses which are beginning to fall into ruins. I am told that their occupants have fled to the Hauran to escape conscription.".. "The flanks of the hill on which the village stands are covered with vines which creep along the ground; their grapes [are] of a prodigious size.." In 1881 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Beit Jenn as a good village built of stone, with 300 Muslims and 100 Druze, with extensive gardens and vineyards.
British Mandate era
In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Bait Jan had a population of 902: 6 Muslims, 1 Christian and 895 Druze. At the time of the 1931 census, Beit Jann had 229 occupied houses and a population of 1100 Druze and 1 Muslim.
In 1945 the population of Beit Jann together with Ein al-Asad was 1,640, all Arabs, who owned 43,550 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey. 2,530 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 7,406 used for cereals, while 67 dunams were built-up (urban) land.
In September 1991, the body of Samir Assad, an Israel Defense Forces soldier from Beit Jann, held since 1983 by the DFLP, was returned in exchange for the return to Israel of exiled members of the DFLP.
In July 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, Beit Jann was hit by Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah. Illegal logging in the vicinity Beit Jann has led to conflicts with park officials and rangers.
Geography and climate
Beit Jann has a cool climate, even in summer, and offers panoramic views that stretch as far as the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean on a clear day. Several families in the village run bed and breakfast facilities. The village is located inside the Mount Meron nature reserve.
- "Table 3 – Population of Localities Numbering Above 2,000 Residents and Other Rural Population" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. June 30, 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 November 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 68
- Higher education in the Druze community
- Dauphin, 1998, p. 657
- Conder and Kitchener 1881, SWP I, p. 206
- Strehlke, 1869, pp. 78-79, No. 100; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RHH, p. 308, No. 1175; cited in Frankel, 1988, p. 254
- Mountain People, Jerusalem Post
- Rhode, Harold (1979). "The Administration and Population of the Sancak of Safed in the Sixteenth Century". PhD dissertation, Columbia University. Retrieved 2014-10-10. See p. 145 for the silk tax, and p. 5 for the date.
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 192
- Robinson and Smith, 1841, Appendix, p. 21
- Schulz (ed. Paulus), 1803, p. 106
- Robinson and Smith, 1856, p. 76
- Guérin, 1880, p. 82-83, partly as translated in Conder and Kitchener, 1881, p. 196
- Conder and Kitchener, 1881, p. 196.
- Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 36
- Mills, 1932, p. 100
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 40
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 80
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 130
- Prisoners-of-War and Captive Soldiers Exchanges
- Oak trees felled in Beit Jann, Haaretz
- Druze tourism
- How the Druze bested the Jews, Haaretz
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beit Jann.|
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922 (PDF). Government of Palestine.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, Herbert H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 1. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Dauphin, Claudine (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations. BAR International Series 726 (in French). III : Catalogue. Oxford: Archeopress.
- Frankel, Rafael (1988). "Topographical notes on the territory of Acre in the Crusader period". Israel Exploration Journal 38 (4): 249–272.
- Guérin, Victor (1880). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 3: Galilee, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- 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. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas (PDF). 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.
- Paulus, H.E.G. (ed) (1803). Sammlung der merkwu̇rdigsten Reisen in den Orient: In Uebersezungen und Auszu̇gen mit ausgewälten kupfern und charten, auch mit den nöthigen einleitungen anmerkungen und kollectiven registern 7. Jena: C. H. Cuno's erben.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838 3. Boston: Crocker & Brewster.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1856). Later Biblical Researches in Palestine and adjacent regions: A Journal of Travels in the year 1852. London: John Murray.
- Röhricht, Reinhold (1893). (RRH) Regesta regni Hierosolymitani (MXCVII-MCCXCI) (in Latin). Berlin: Libraria Academica Wageriana.
- Strehlke, Ernst, ed. (1869). Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici ex tabularii regii Berolinensis codice potissimum. Berlin: Weidmanns.