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For the town in north Jordan, see Huwwarah.
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic حُوّاره
 • Also spelled Howwarah (official)
Huwara (unofficial)
Entrance to Huwara checkpoint
Entrance to Huwara checkpoint
Huwara is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Huwara within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°09′09″N 35°15′24″E / 32.15250°N 35.25667°E / 32.15250; 35.25667Coordinates: 32°09′09″N 35°15′24″E / 32.15250°N 35.25667°E / 32.15250; 35.25667
Palestine grid 174/173
Governorate Nablus
 • Type Municipality
 • Jurisdiction 7,982 dunams (7.982 km2 or 3.082 sq mi)
Population (2007)[1]
 • Jurisdiction 5,570
Name meaning "White marl"[2]

Huwara (Arabic: حُوّاره‎, ḥuwwarah, About this sound Arabic pronunciation )[3] is a Palestinian town located in the Nablus Governorate of the northern West Bank, 9 kilometres (6 mi) south of Nablus and forms an enclave between four Israeli settlements.[4] It is approximately 4 miles (6 km) from Jacob's Well.[3] As part of the West Bank Closures system, the town contained the main Israeli checkpoint, Huwwara Checkpoint, to enter the nearby city of Nablus, until 2011 when the IDF decided to dismantle it in order to ease traffic between Nablus and Ramallah.[5] According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 5,800 in 2006.[6]

The first elementary school was established in 1947, the school was converted into secondary school in 1962, the first female elementary school was established in 1957. Huwara Elementary as well as secondary schools serves infants from neighboring villages up to the present time.

Huwara contains four major clans. The main clan is the Odeh clan, which contains many families including the Mohammad, the Shaaweet, the Shhada, and Sleem. The second major clan is Ethmedeh.


Huwara is an ancient site, and cisterns and graves in rock have been found, together with remains of columns.[7]

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Hawara was inhabited by Muslims.[8]

Ottoman era[edit]

The village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Jabal Qubal of the Liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 87 households, all Muslim. The villagers paid taxes on wheat, barley, summer crops, olives, goats and/or beehives, and a press for olives or grapes.[9]

In 1838, Robinson described Huwara as a "large and old village".[10]

In the 1850s the Ottoman rulers withdrew their soldiers from the district (to be used in the Crimean War), and hence open hostility could ensue between different Palestinian factions.[11] In 1853, Huwara was engaged in a battle with the neighboring villages of Quza and Beita which left ten men and seven women dead.[12]

The French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1870. He found the village, (which he called Haouarah), to have about 800 inhabitants, and that it was divided into two districts, each administered by a sheikh. A wali was dedicated to Abou en-Nebyh Sahin.[13]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Huwarah as a village "of stone and mud at the foot of Gerizim, just over the main road. It has an appearance of antiquity, and covers a considerable extent of ground".[14]

British Mandate period[edit]

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Huwara had a population of 921, all Muslims,[15] increasing slightly in the 1931 census, where Huwara (together with the smaller location Bir Quza) had 240 occupied houses and a population of 955, still all Muslims.[16]

In 1945 Huwwara had a population of 1,300, all Arabs, with 7,982 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[17] Of this, 607 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 4,858 used for cereals,[18] while 129 dunams were built-up land.[19]


In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Huwara came under Jordanian rule.


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Huwara has been under Israeli occupation. It has been the target of price tag policy, that is random acts violence against them by Israeli Jewish settlers. According to the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC), in April 2010, settlers torched three Palestinian vehicles in Huwara,[20] while on 27 February 2011, in a price-tag operation against the evacuation of Havat Gilad, settlers threw molotov cocktails at a house in the village.[21] In March 2012 a star of David was sprayed on a village mosque.[22] In March 2013, in another price-tag attack, Jewish settlers descended on Huwara in the hours after the Borovsky killing. They attacked a bus with Palestinian school-girls with stones, shattering a wind-shield and wounding the driver.[23]

Tree wars: Olive groves[edit]

Ancient olive tree in Israel/Palestine

In her 2009 publication entitled Tree Flags, legal scholar and ethnographer, Irus Braverman, describes how Palestinians identify olive groves as an emblem or symbol of their longtime, steadfast agricultural connection (tsumud) to the land.[24]:1[25][26]

"More than 80,000 Palestinian farmers derive a substantial portion of their annual income from olives. Harvesting the fruit, pressing the oil, selling and sharing the produce is a ritual of life."

—Washington Post October 2014

In October, during the olive harvest season,[27] 2014 a fire razed to the ground huge swathes of Palestinian-owned agricultural land between the village of Hawara, near Nablus and the Yitzhar settlement in the West Bank, destroying over a hundred olive trees.[28]Although the cause of the fire has been contested, the mayor of Huwara claimed masked men from the nearby Yitzhar settlement and surrounding colonies set the fire by pouring incendiary fluids on the trees[28] and that the Israeli occupation forces prevented Palestinian citizens from reaching the lands in order to extinguish the fire. Later on, the Israeli forces allowed the civil defence, existing in the adjacent Palestinian village of Burin, to access the fire and extinguish it, but only after it had expanded to an even larger area of land.[29] The burning and damaging of olice trees is an ongoing-concern of the United Nations,[20] a pattern the New York Times call "price tag" attacks.[30] The United Nations has reported that by 2013 "...Israeli settlers damaged or destroyed nearly 11,000 olive trees owned by the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank."[27][31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 110
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 229
  3. ^ a b Rix, 1907, p. 25
  4. ^ Friedman, Robert I. (2001-12-06). "And Darkness Covered the Land". The Nation. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  5. ^ Sandercock, Josie et al. (2004). Peace Under Fire: Israel/Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement. Verso. p. 110. ISBN 1-84467-501-7. 
  6. ^ "Projected Mid -Year Population for Nablus Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006". Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 
  7. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 804
  8. ^ Ellenblum, 2003, pp. 244, 263
  9. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 132
  10. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, p. 93
  11. ^ Schölch, 1993, pp. 211-227
  12. ^ Finn, 1878, p. 298, cited in Avneri, 1984, p. 20
  13. ^ Guérin, 1874, p. 460
  14. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 284
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Nablus, p. 25
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 62
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 60
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 106
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 156
  20. ^ a b Bannoura, Saed (13 May 2010), "Settler Torch Olive Orchard In Silwan", International Middle East Media Center 
  21. ^ Yair Altman, Price tag: Palestinian cars vandalized in Hebron.' in Ynet, 1 March 2011
  22. ^ Israeli firefighters: West Bank mosque fire likely arson, May, 06, 2010, Haaretz
  23. ^ Settlers throw stones, burn fields after terror attack, Itamar Fleishman, 04.30.13, Ynet
  24. ^ Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine (PDF). Yale Agrarian Studies Colloquium. Buffalo, New York. 28 September 2010. p. 54. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  25. ^ Staton, Bethan (21 January 2015). "The deep roots of the Palestine-Israel conflict: Palestinians have tended olive groves for decades, but Israelis are staking a claim by planting their own trees". Israel/Palestine. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  26. ^ Braverman, Irus (2009). Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 052176002X. 
  27. ^ a b Booth, William (22 October 2014). "In West Bank, Palestinians gird for settler attacks on olive trees". Kfar Yassug, West Bank. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  28. ^ a b Kinder, Tabatha (24 October 2014). "Palestine: Jewish Settlers Torch 100 of World's Oldest Olive Trees". International Business News. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "Settlers burn 100 olive trees near Nablus in the occupied West Bank". Middle East Monitor. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Kershner, Isabel (3 October 2011). "Mosque Set on Fire in Northern Israel". New York Times (Jerusalem). Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "Nearly 11,000 Palestinian-owned trees damaged by Israeli settlers in 2013", United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL), retrieved 23 January 2015 


External links[edit]