Bint Jbeil

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Bint Jbeil
بنت جبيل
Bint jbail general.jpg
Bint Jbeilبنت جبيل is located in Lebanon
Bint Jbeilبنت جبيل
Bint Jbeil
بنت جبيل
Coordinates: 33°07′N 35°26′E / 33.117°N 35.433°E / 33.117; 35.433
Country Lebanon
Governorate Nabatieh Governorate
Area
 • Total 9.10 km2 (3.51 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 • Total 30,000

Coordinates: 33°07′33″N 35°26′34″E / 33.12583°N 35.44278°E / 33.12583; 35.44278

Bint Jbeil (Arabic: بنت جبيل‎) is the second largest town in the Nabatiye Governorate in Southern Lebanon.

The town has an estimated population of 30,000. Its exact population is unknown, because Lebanon has not conducted a population census since 1932.[1]

History[edit]

The area around Bint Jbeil has been inhabited for millennia. Archaeologists have suggested that the ancient fortified city of En-hazor, which the Book of Joshua describes as having been occupied by the Biblical Tribe of Naphtali, was located in the vicinity.[2]

According to some historians, the name of the town is derived from a Yemeni name. They argue that the name is linked to Yemeni tribes that immigrated to the Levant centuries ago from Yemeni towns such as Jibla, Jabalan Al Ardaba, and Jabalan Al Raymah, or the two territories of the Jubail lowland and Jubail highland. Other historians claim that the founders of Bint Jbeil were the Phoenicians, who came from the northern Lebanese town of Jbeil (Byblos); they may have been Shia Muslims escaping the Seljuk occupation of Byblos. Bint Jbeil literally means 'Daughter of Byblos.'

The town is predominately inhabited by Shia Muslims (90%), though the surrounding area also has a significant Christian (10%) minority. It has been the site of violent conflict on several occasions during the last century.

Bint Jbeil was occupied by Israel in 1978 during Operation Litani, and again from 1982 until 2000 during the 1982-2000 South Lebanon conflict, during which time it was severely depopulated; as much as 75% of the population was reported to have left for other parts of Lebanon.[3] It was the scene of occasional violent attacks on Israeli forces (that were occupying the Lebanese border regions of Israel), such as a deadly suicide car bombing carried out by a Hezbollah member on 25 April 1995.[4] Hezbollah took control of the town following the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon.

As the largest town in the area, Bint Jbeil is sometimes known as the "Capital of the Liberated South" (among Lebanese Shi'ites), or the "Capital of Hezbollah" (among Israelis). It is considered one of the centers with symbolic history for Hezbollah.[5] Under Lebanon's complicated system of sectarian electoral representation, Bint Jbeil's electoral district is allocated 3 Shi'ite seats in the country's parliament.[6] Hezbollah did well in the area in the 2005 elections in Lebanon, winning the local seats to add to its nationwide tally of 14.

Center of Bint Jbeil after the war

Bint Jbeil was again contested by Israeli and Hezbollah forces in the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, during which it suffered heavy damage (See Battle of Bint Jbeil). Reconstruction as of early 2007 had been going very slowly, leading to reports of dissatisfaction among the residents.[7] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the town in 2010 to show solidarity for Hezbollah and the local victims of Israel's attacks.[8]

Notable people[edit]

News articles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,,COUNTRYPROF,LBN,4562d8cf2,4954ce52c,0.html
  2. ^ Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, eds. David Noel Freedman, Astrid B Beck, Allen C Myers, p. 407. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2000)
  3. ^ "The Situation in Lebanon, July 1989", hearing before the Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East
  4. ^ Ami Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism, p. 127. Blackwell Publishing, 2005
  5. ^ "Bint Jbeil: Hezbollah heartland". BBC News. 27 July 2006. 
  6. ^ The Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia, ed. Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz, Christof Hartmann, p. 179. Oxford University Press, 2002
  7. ^ Vision of Rebuilding Lebanon Wanes, Hassan M. Fattah, New York Times, January 22, 2007
  8. ^ MacLeod, Hugh (14 October 2010). "Hezbollah gives Ahmadinejad a hero's welcome in southern Lebanon". The Guardian (London). 

External links[edit]