Yatta, Hebron

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This article is about the city of Yatta. For the pop song, see Yatta (song).
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic يطّا
 • Also spelled Yattah (official)
Mosque in Yatta
Mosque in Yatta
Official logo of Yatta
Municipal Seal of Yatta
Yatta is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Yatta within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°26′52.00″N 35°05′24.00″E / 31.4477778°N 35.0900000°E / 31.4477778; 35.0900000Coordinates: 31°26′52.00″N 35°05′24.00″E / 31.4477778°N 35.0900000°E / 31.4477778; 35.0900000
Governorate Hebron
 • Type City
 • Head of Municipality Khalil Younis
 • Jurisdiction 133,080 dunams (133.0 km2 or 51.4 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 48,672
Website www.yatta-munc.org

Yatta or Yattah (Arabic: يطّا‎, Hebrew: יטא) is a Palestinian city located in the Hebron Governorate on a high approximately 8 km south of the city of Hebron in the West Bank.[1] According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics it had a population of 48,672 in 2007.[2][3]


Elderly men in Yatta

Yatta is located on the site of the Biblical town of Juttah.[1] A Jewish burial complex dating to the 2nd century CE was found in the town in 1931.[4] Eusebius (4th century) wrote that Yatta was "a very large village of Jews eighteen miles south of Beit Guvrin."[4]

In 1596, it was recorded as having a population of 127 Muslim families, and paid taxes on wheat, barley, olives, goats and bee-hives.[5] In 1931 the population was counted as 4,034 Muslims.[6] Today, some Palestinian-Arab residents believe they originate from the Jewish kingdom of Khaybar in the south-western Arabian peninsula and are descended from the Jewish tribes of Arabia.[7] Research by Yitzhak Ben Zvi in 1928 also suggested that three out of the six extended families in Yatta belonged to the "Mehamra" group and possibly descended from an Arabian Jewish tribe.[4]

The Survey of Western Palestine described the village in the 1870s as being a "large village standing high on a ridge. It is built of stone, but some of the inhabitants live in tents. The water supply is from cisterns. On the south there are rock-cut tombs, and rock wine-presses are found all round the village. The neighbourhood is extremely stony; south of the village are scattered olives, which are conspicuous objects; on the west, a little lower under a cliff, is a small olive yard in which the camp of the Survey party was pitched in 1874; to the south-west of camp were a few figs. The inhabitants are very rich in flocks; the village owned, it was said, 17,000 sheep, beside goats, cows, camels, horses, and donkeys. The Sheikh alone had 250 sheep. ... South of the village are several tombs; one has a shallow semicircular arch cut above a small square entrance. West of the village and of el Muturrif is a very fine rock-cut wine-press. A second occurs north of the village."[8]

At least seven Palestinians were killed in Yatta during the Second Intifada in different incidents from 2002-04.[9] On March 8, 2012 Israeli soldiers shot dead 20-year-old Zakariya Abu Eram and injured two others during an raid in the town with the intent of arresting Abu Eram's uncle. The Israeli Army said they fired at the men after one of them stabbed a soldier during the arrest attempt.[10]


A Jillayeh dress from Yatta from around 1910 is part of the Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) at Museum of New Mexico at Santa Fe.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Columbia Encyclopedia: Juttah
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.118.
  3. ^ "Palestine City Populations". MongaBay. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  4. ^ a b c Ḥevrah la-haganat ha-ṭevaʻ (1990), Israel - land and nature, Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, p. 83, retrieved 6 June 2011 
  5. ^ *Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977), Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century, Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft, p. 123 
  6. ^ Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem, 1932, p. 34.
  7. ^ A tragic misunderstanding, The Sunday Times, January 13, 2009.
  8. ^ The Survey of Western Palestine, Vol III, 1883, pp310,380.
  9. ^ Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the Occupied Territories B'Tselem
  10. ^ Palestinian shot dead in West Bank. Al Jazeera English. 2012-03-08.
  11. ^ Stillman, 1979, p. 59, 60


External links[edit]