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Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic سلواد
Silwad is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Silwad within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°59′10″N 35°15′33″E / 31.98611°N 35.25917°E / 31.98611; 35.25917Coordinates: 31°59′10″N 35°15′33″E / 31.98611°N 35.25917°E / 31.98611; 35.25917
Governorate Ramallah & al-Bireh
 • Type Municipality
 • Head of Municipality N/A
 • Jurisdiction 18,792 dunams (18.8 km2 or 7.3 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 6,123

Silwad (Arabic: سلواد‎; Hebrew: סילואד) is a Palestinian town located 12 kilometers north-east of Ramallah, about 5 km away from the Nablus-Jerusalem highway. Silwad altitude is 860 Meter above sea level. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the town had a population of 6,123 inhabitants in 2007.[1]


Historians have argued the etymology of Silwad. Some debated that the name is derived from the words “Lisan” & “Wad” meaning ‘Tongue of the Valley’ as the town is surrounded by mountains from all sides while the town appears as tongue amidst the mountains. Others mention that Silwad comes from the source “Sal” &“Wad” meaning ‘a Running Valley’, the words were combined together to give the current name of the town.[2]

Climate and economy[edit]

The climate is Mediterranean-mountainous. Cold and humid winters with several days of snow almost every year with an average annual precipitation of about 750 millimeters (29.5 inches). The summers are dry and mild. This climate is suitable for growing cherries, nectarines, kiwifruit, grapes and olives. The economy of Silwad is based on farming as well as handicrafts.

Land confiscation[edit]

Jordan confiscated lands of Silwad and nearby Ein Yabrud for the construction of a military camp before the Six-Day War.[3] The Jordanian buildings formed the initial basis of the Israeli settlement of Ofra founded in 1975.[3] Plans for further expansion of Ofra in this land in 2011 resulted in legal challenges and public dispute.[3]

Silwad villagers have petitioned the High Court to be allowed to farm their traditional lands to which they had been denied access for a decade. They requested the right to access to some 3,100 dunams, a quarter of Silwad's lands of which has been blocked by settlers. Land that has been blocked from cultivation in this way includes property of villagers from Taibe, Ein Yabrud and Deir Jarir. The IDF blocked Silwad villagers from accessing their farming lands when under escort from peaced activists: these lands cannot be entered directly from the village itself but only via the Israeli settlement of Ofra. The incident occurred after they had obtained permission to enter it, under escort from volunteers of Yesh Din.[4]


At the time of the 1931 census, Silwad had 380 occupied houses and a population of 1631 Muslims and 4 Christians.[5]

The main family inhabitants are Hamed, Hammad, and Ayyad. It is believed to be that Hamed and Hammad are brothers, who settled in the city of Silwad. Ayyad is believed to have been accompanying the two brothers. Hamed is proven to be the largest family there. While the Ayyad family has lost touch with the village and their Arab culture.[6]

According to the estimates of Silwad Association in Jordan the population of the people of Silwad in Diaspora exceeds 25,000 (1996 estimates). Among these, 8,000 reside in Silwad.[7] There are about 8,000 Palestinians from Silwad in Kuwait, and there are also some in South America, especially Brazil.[8]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.113.
  2. ^ Silwad history, in Arabic and English
  3. ^ a b c State moves to expand settlement on Palestinian land confiscated by Jordan
  4. ^ Amira Hass, 'IDF prevents Israeli activists from escorting Palestinians to their lands in West Bank,' at Haaretz, 2 August, 2011.
  5. ^ E. Mills, ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem: Government of Palestine. p. 54. 
  6. ^ Silwad … Location and Tribes
  7. ^
  8. ^ PALESTINE : Silwad, a History of Revolts
  9. ^ Khalid Mishal: The Making of a Palestinian Islamic Leader Interviewed by Mouin Rabbani, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol 37, no. 1 (Spring 2008), p. 59


External links[edit]