Neve Daniel

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Neve Daniel

Neve Daniel (Hebrew: נְוֵה דָּנִיֵּאל) is an Israeli settlement and communal settlement located in western Gush Etzion in the southern West Bank. Located south of Jerusalem and just west of Bethlehem, it sits atop one of the highest points in the area - close to 1,000 meters above sea level, and has a view of much of the Mediterranean coastal plain, as well as the mountains of Jordan.


Wider view of Neve Daniel.

Neve Daniel was established on July 18, 1982 on the site of the Cohen Farm. The Cohen Farm was founded on September 6, 1935, on lands purchased from the nearby village of al-Khader that were transferred to the Jewish National Fund in 1943. The farm was abandoned during the Arab riots, and remained under Jordanian control until 1967.

The new community was named for Nebi Daniel, a bend in the road several kilometers southwest of Bethlehem, where a convoy bringing supplies to Gush Etzion was ambushed. The road to Gush Etzion had been blocked by Arab villagers who organized attacks on vehicles traveling to and from Jerusalem. The convoys traversing the route consisted mainly of "armored" pickup trucks fitted with makeshift tin and plywood roofs. On 27 March 1948, a convoy of 51 vehicles returning from Gush Etzion encountered an impassable roadblock and came to a halt. The Arabs positioned on both sides of the road opened fire.[citation needed] According to Irgun fighter Yehuda Lapidot, during the battle, 15 Jewish fighters were killed, 73 wounded, and most of the Haganah's fleet of armored transport vehicles, 10 armored cars, 4 armored buses and 25 armor-plated trucks, were destroyed.[1]

On a visit to Neve Daniel in 2009, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter told his hosts: "I have been fortunate this afternoon in learning the perspectives that I did not have."[2] At a meeting in the garden of Shaul Goldstein, head of the Gush Etzion regional council, Carter said: "This particular settlement area is not one that I can envision ever being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory. This is part of settlements close to the 1967 line that I think will be here forever."[3]

Status under international law[edit]

Like all Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, Neve Daniel is considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. The international community considers Israeli settlements to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention's prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power's civilian population into occupied territory. Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them.[4] This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.[5]


Neve Daniel has a mixed population of native Israelis and immigrants from the former Soviet Union, France, Canada, and the United States. The population doubled from 800 residents in 2001 to nearly 1,500 in 2008, and in the 2012 census totaled 2,058 residents comprising over 400 families. The majority of residents are religious Zionists.

Ephraim Henry Pavie house[edit]

Ephraim Henry Pavie is a French-born architect who made aliyah to Israel in 1983. Around the year 2000 he purchased a lot in Neve Daniel, and in 2008 began constructing a home there for him and his wife and their six children. The Pavie house, which stands four stories high and is entirely made of concrete, has ten rooms, and not one of its above-ground walls is straight. Pavie, whose architectural style Yonatan Kanti of the Israeli daily Ma'ariv compared to the futurism of Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center, said the house attracts attention from passers-by but is not universally appreciated.[6]

Snow in Neve Daniel, 2013


Coordinates: 31°40′40″N 35°08′36″E / 31.67789°N 35.14329°E / 31.67789; 35.14329