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For the Palestinian newspaper of the same name, see Al-Karmil (newspaper). For the nearby modern Israeli settlement named after the Biblical Carmel, see Carmel, Har Hebron.
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic خربة الكرمل
 • Also spelled Khirbat al-Karmil (official)
al-Karmil is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of al-Karmil within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°25′25.19″N 35°07′59.37″E / 31.4236639°N 35.1331583°E / 31.4236639; 35.1331583Coordinates: 31°25′25.19″N 35°07′59.37″E / 31.4236639°N 35.1331583°E / 31.4236639; 35.1331583
Palestine grid 162/092
Governorate Hebron
 • Type Village council
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 3,741

al-Karmil (Arabic: خربة الكرمل‎‎) is a Palestinian village located twelve kilometers south of Hebron. The village is in the Hebron Governorate Southern West Bank, within Area A under total Palestinian control.[1] According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the village had a population of 3,741 in 2007.[2] The primary health care facilities for the village are designated by the Ministry of Health as level 2.[3]


There are three references to al-Karmil in the Bible. "Carmel" is mentioned as a city of Judah, also as the place where Saul erects a monument after the expedition against the Amalek and where Nabal the Carmelite resides.[4][5][6][7]

In the Byzantine era, around the 6th or 7th century CE, a church was built here. In the 19th century, it was described as having three casemated arrow-slits on the east side.[8][9][10]

Al-Muqaddasi describes it 985 as "a village in the further limits of the Hebron territory, in Jund Filastin. This is the Carmel mentioned in Joshua xv.55."[11]

It was mentioned in Crusader sources in 1172/3,[12][13] as the place King Amalric of Jerusalem assembled his army.[10]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1838 Edward Robinson noted here the remains of an ancient tower and an ancient church.[14]

In 1863, Victor Guérin visited, and noted the remains of an ancient church.[15]

In October 1874, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) found here extensive ruins, and a reservoir filled with water. Remains of a castle, possibly of Crusader origin, and a church were also found.[16]

The SWP also traced an ancient road from Jerusalem to Al-Karmil.[17]

Modern period[edit]

The population of the village was 146 in 1961.[18] In a census conducted by Israel after it occupied the West Bank in the Six-day War, the village was reported to have 76 residents in 17 households.[19]

The site contains an ancient reservoir, Birket Al-Karmel, which has been transformed into a major recreation area, with a swimming pool. Gideon Levy writes:

The terraces, decorative landscaping, Hebron stones, washrooms and a spring that gushes from the rock next to the pool – all make this one of the most spectacular outdoor sites in the West Bank.[1]

Twice, in 2015, settler tourists under IDF guard, made incursions into the park, after the army forced the local children out of the pool and allotted them to a corner while the settlers enjoyed the pool and the site.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Gideon Levy and Alex Levac, 'Bitter waters: Settlers invade ancient pool under Palestinian control,' Haaretz 12 June 2015
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.120.
  3. ^ West Bank Health care
  4. ^ Joshua ch xv verse 55, 1 Samuel ch xv verse 12 and 1 Samuel ch xxv
  5. ^ Nabal and Abigail
  6. ^ Calmet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible, 1832. p 280
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 312
  8. ^ Rey, 1871, pp. 102-104
  9. ^ Mader, 1918, pp. 177-185
  10. ^ a b Pringle, 1997, p. 61
  11. ^ le Strange, 1890, pp. 487-8
  12. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 170
  13. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 372
  14. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, pp. 196-197
  15. ^ Guérin, 1869, pp. 166-170
  16. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, pp. 372-4
  17. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 317
  18. ^ Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics (1964). First Census of Population and Housing. Volume I: Final Tables; General Characteristics of the Population. Table 1.8. 
  19. ^ Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (1967–1970). Joel Perlmann, ed. "The 1967 Census of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Digitized Version". Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, 2011–2012. Volume 1, Table 2. 


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