Deir Hanna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Deir Hanna
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew דֵיר חַנָּא
 • ISO 259 Deir Ḥannaˀ
 • Also spelled Deir Hana (official)
Dayr Hanna (unofficial)
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabic دير حنا
Deir Hanna is located in Israel
Deir Hanna
Deir Hanna
Coordinates: 32°51′44.68″N 35°22′16.21″E / 32.8624111°N 35.3711694°E / 32.8624111; 35.3711694Coordinates: 32°51′44.68″N 35°22′16.21″E / 32.8624111°N 35.3711694°E / 32.8624111; 35.3711694
District Northern
 • Type Local council (from 1975)
 • Head of Municipality Samir Hussein
 • Total 7,500 dunams (7.5 km2 or 2.9 sq mi)
Population (2005)
 • Total 8,500
Name meaning Convent of St John[1]

Deir Hanna (Arabic: دير حنا‎, Hebrew: דֵיר חַנָּא)[1] is a local council in the North District of Israel, located on the hills of the Lower Galilee, 23 kilometres (14 mi) southeast of Acre. At the end of 2005, the town had a population of 8,500 approximately 80% of them being Muslims and the remaining 20% being Christian.[2]


In the Crusader era, Deir Hanna was a fief known as Ber Henne,[3] or Der Henne. In 1174 it was one of the casales (villages) given to Phillipe le Rous.[4] In 1236 descendants of Phillipe le Rous confirmed the sale of the fief of Deir Henna.[5] According to Petersen, no traces of Crusader occupation were found in the village.[6]

The remains of Dhaher al-Omar's castle in Deir Hanna

Ottoman era[edit]

Deir Hanna was a base for the az-Zaydānī family, and as such increased greatly in importance with Dhaher al-Omar's rise to power in the 18th century.[6]

In 1875 Victor Guérin found 40 Muslim and 4 Greek Orthodox families living in Deir Hanna.[7] In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as: "High walls all around the village, which is built of stone. The walls have round towers, and were built by Dhaher el Amr's son, Sad el Amr. It is situated on the top of a high ridge, and contains about 400 Christians. It is surrounded by olive-groves and arable land. Water is obtained from cisterns and an old paved birkeh [pool] to the north of the village."[8]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Dair Hanna had a population of 429, 320 Muslims and 109 Christians,[9] increasing in the 1931 census to 563; 427 Muslims and 136 Christians, in a total of 117 houses.[10] In 1945, it had 750 Arab inhabitants, who owned a total of owned 15,350 dunams of land.[11]

Of this, 2,799 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 5,242 used for cereals,[12] while 38 dunams were built-up land.[13]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

During Operation Hiram, 29-31 October 1948, the town surrendered to the advancing Israeli army. Many of the inhabitants fled north but some stayed and were not expelled by the Israeli soldiers.[14] Deir Hanna remained under Martial Law until 1966.

Deir Hanna forms the Land Day triangle with Sakhnin and Arraba. The town has been through a thorough modernization process in the last 10 years, and now has a full education system, health care facilities and sports playgrounds.[citation needed]

Deir Hanna at night as seen from Lotem

Notable buildings[edit]

Deir Hanna has a castle from the Dhaher al-Omar era. Parts of the castle are still standing, as are the town walls, the old village church and a mosque, and it is considered a tourist attraction.

Persons associated with Deir Hanna[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 125
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Frankel, 1988, p. 255
  4. ^ Strehlke, 1869, p. 8, No. 7; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RHH, p. 137, No. 517; cited in Ellenblum, 2003, p. 109, note 16 and Frankel, 1988, p. 255
  5. ^ Strehlke, 1869, p. 64, No.81; cited Röhricht, 1893, RHH, p. 269, No. 1069; cited in Frankel, 1988, p. 265
  6. ^ a b Petersen, 2001, p. 132
  7. ^ Guérin, 1880, pp. 463 -464
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 364
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 37
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 100
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 40
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 80
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 130
  14. ^ Morris, 1987, p. 226


External links[edit]