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Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic فصايل
 • Also spelled al-Fasa'il (official)
Khirbet al-Fasayil (unofficial)
Fasayil is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Fasayil within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°01′30″N 35°26′36″E / 32.02500°N 35.44333°E / 32.02500; 35.44333Coordinates: 32°01′30″N 35°26′36″E / 32.02500°N 35.44333°E / 32.02500; 35.44333
Palestine grid 192/161
Governorate Jericho
Founded 1980s
 • Type Village council
 • Jurisdiction 47,951 dunams (48.0 km2 or 18.5 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 1,078

Fasayil or Fasa'il (Arabic: فصايل‎) is a Palestinian village in the northeastern West Bank, a part of the Jericho Governorate, located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) northwest of Jericho and about 40 kilometres (25 mi) southeast of Nablus. The closest Palestinian locality is Duma to the west. The village's total land area is 47,951 dunams (18.5 sq mi).[1] The village is located 2km south of the Israeli settlement of Petza'el. According to the 2007 census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the village had a population of 1,078.



Fasayil was known as Phasaelis.[2] The village's ancient name derived from a tower that Herod the Great, the king of Judea (Roman province), built in the Jordan Valley north of Jericho in dedication to his elder brother Phasael.[3] This has led to the belief that Herod founded Phasaelis.[4][5] It was mentioned by Jewish historian and commander in the First Jewish-Roman War Josephus as being south of Archelais and was part of a toparchy ruled by Herod's sister Salome I. It is also found on the Map of Madaba surrounded by date palms.[2][4] The tomb of an anchorite named Peter was found in the village in 1949.[2]

The ruins of a monastery dedicated to Saint Cyriacus, a commemorated monk who died 556 CE, is also located in al-Fasayil. Among the ruins on the site is a large square building, of which now only the outline is visible, because it is almost completely buried. At the mouth of the nearby Wadi al-Fasayil, in a little mound, there is a birkeh ("pool") and many unexcavated remains of walls. The site is called Tell Sheikh ad-Diab because of a tomb of this personage, still in good condition.[2]

A stone found at Fasayil commemorates a building project there dedicated to Khumarawayh ibn Ahmad ibn Tulun. It must have been started either during his rule, or the rule of his son, Abu 'l-Asakir Jaysh ibn Khumarawayh, that is between 884 and 896 CE.[6]

It was mentioned by a monk named Brocardus in the 13th century as being a small village called Pheselch and in the 14th century by Marino Sanuto as being a small village by the name of Fasaelis.[6][5] Victor Guérin visited in 1870, and found the place in ruins.[7] In 1874, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine visited and described the extensive ruins there.[8]

Modern era[edit]

The current village of Fasayil was established by Bedouins, mostly Palestinian refugees from the Naqab desert in the 1980s. Many of the inhabitants are registered as residents of the Bethlehem Governorate and not Jericho. Fasayil was part of the Nablus Governorate until 1995 when it became a part of the Jericho Governorate.[9]

In 2006, Israeli authorities demolished 15 shelters in the village, and in 2008 an additional 6 were demolished.[10] Fasayil gained international attention when in 2007 the Israel Defense Forces planned on demolishing the village's primary school. Since Fasayil is located in Area C of the West Bank, Israel has complete control over the village, and granting building permits are authorized by them; the school was built without a permit. Residents often complain about the rarity of Israel permitting construction in the village.[11]


Its population was 318 in 1961, decreasing dramatically to about 150 in 1983.[1] According to a census taken by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Fasayil had a population of 648 in 1997, of which 31% were refugees fleeing other parts of the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War.[12] The gender make-up was approximately 50% male and 50% female.[13]

There were 1,078 inhabitants in the 2007 census.[14]


  1. ^ a b Welcome to al-Fasa'il PalestineRemembered.
  2. ^ a b c d Phasaelis - (Kh. Fasayil) Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem. 2000-12-19.
  3. ^ Josephus, Jewish War 1.21.9;
  4. ^ a b The Estate of the Southern Jordan River Virtual Karak Resources Project and Appalachian College Association.
  5. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 388
  6. ^ a b Sharon, 2004, pp. 201-205
  7. ^ Guérin, 1874, pp. 228-232
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, pp.392-393
  9. ^ Report on the Situation of Bedouin Refugees in the West Bank United Nations UNRWA. May 2006.
  10. ^ Jordan Valley Residents Land Research Center. 2008-03-01.
  11. ^ The fight to build a West Bank village school Amnesty International. 2007-11-01.
  12. ^ Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  13. ^ Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  14. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 115.


External links[edit]