Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya

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al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic اللبّن الشرقية
 • Also spelled al-Lubban ash-Sharqiyyeh (official)
Khan Lubban, south of Lubban ash-Sharqiya
Khan Lubban, south of Lubban ash-Sharqiya
al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya is located in the Palestinian territories
al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya
al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya
Location of al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°04′16″N 35°14′28″E / 32.07111°N 35.24111°E / 32.07111; 35.24111Coordinates: 32°04′16″N 35°14′28″E / 32.07111°N 35.24111°E / 32.07111; 35.24111
Palestine grid 172/164
Governorate Nablus
 • Type Village council
 • Jurisdiction 12,075 dunams (12.1 km2 or 4.7 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 2,500
Name meaning "the milk (white)"; from the white cliff beyond the village[1]

Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya (Arabic: اللبّن الشرقية‎) is a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank, located 20 kilometers south of Nablus, in the Nablus Governorate. The town has a total land area of 12,075 dunams of which 200 dunams is built-up area. The village is just north of the historic Khan al-Lubban caravansary.


The site has been identified with the Biblical village of "Lebonah" (Judges 21:19),[2] though others prefer a tell on a rise to the south.[3] Byzantine pottery has been found.[4] The village was known as "Lubanum" to the Crusaders.[5][6]

In 593 H, Muhammed Ibn Abd al-Wahid al-Makhzumi al-Lubanni was born in the village. He went on to become a qadi at Baalbek, and died in 658 H / 1260 CE.[7]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1517, the village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine. Under the name "Lubban as-Sawi", the village appeared in 1596 Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Jabal Qubal of the liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 85 Muslim households. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, summer crops, olives, and goats or beehives.[8]

French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1863, and found it to be in a poor state, but with beautiful old elements as part of the houses. The population was estimated to be 300.[9]

In the 1882 Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP), the village was described as being perched on a terrace on the hill, with ancient tombs close by.[10]

British Mandate period[edit]

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya (called Lubban Sharqi) had a population of 356, all Muslims,[11] increasing in the 1931 census to a population of 474 Muslims and one Christian, in a total of 116 houses.[12]

In 1945, Lubban Sharqiya had a population of 620, all Muslims,[13] with 12,545 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[14] Of this, 2,424 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 5,605 used for cereals,[15] while 34 dunams were built-up land.[16]


In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya came under Jordanian rule.


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya has been under Israeli occupation.

On 5 November 1990, at Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya a local villager, Ali el Hatib, aged 65 was gunned down while riding his donkey to an olive grove, and a few second later, gunfire from the same Israeli Peugeot killed Miriam Salman Rashid while she was standing outside her home. The car then sped off towards Eli. On the basis of evidence collected in an intensive investigation, police concluded that it was an operation undertaken by members of the Kach militant organization in retaliation for Meir Kahane’s murder in New York earlier that day. Three Kach activists, among them David Ha'ivri, were arrested on suspicion, but the case never came to trial due to lack of evidence.[17]

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya had a population of 2,465 in the 2007 census.[18] The population is primarily made up of two clans, the Daraghmeh and Awaysa.

In 2009, two members of Yesh Din wrote in Haaretz about settlers form Eli who had taken control over land in the area, which had seriously damaged the ability of the villagers from Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya to work their land. According to the writers, this was part of a systematic strategy to remove all Palestinians from Area C, and the authors concluded that "an infrastructure of Jewish terror is being created in the West Bank."[19]

On 4 May 2010, a fire broke out in the main mosque of al-Lubban al-Sharqiyya, destroying carpets and religious texts.[20] Police forensics officers were called in to determine whether it was arson or an electrical failure, while the PA said the fire was started by settlers in a price tag attack.[21] Israel firefighters later said the fire seemed to was deliberately set, and that the likely cause was arson.[20] Later the same year, the olive harvest became one of the most violent for years on the West Bank, and olive trees belonging to the village, and situated near the Israeli settlement of Eli, were torched, though Eli residents say it was a "pruning fire that got out of control."[22] The family of Rasmia Awase found 40 olive trees they had planted two decades earlier on their plot near the settlement of Eli chopped down when they came to harvest the fruits. They blamed the destruction on Eli settlers.[23]

In February 2012, an IDF soldier from the Golani Brigade, together with two women were arrested for defacing a village home with graffiti "Mohammed is a Pig". Security cameras in the village showed one of them destroying construction material.[24]

In March 2012, the UN published a report about the take-over by Israeli settlers of water resources on the West Bank, including the spring Ein El Mukheimer near al-Lubban al-Sharqiyya, traditionally used by villagers for irrigation and domestic purposes.[25]

According to the village head of Al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, the villagers were only allowed near another local spring, Ain Arik, for a few days of the year during harvest time. The rest of the year they would be stopped by the Israeli army.[26][27]

One family, the Daraghmehs, have repeatedly complained of harassment from Israeli settlers, saying that both animals and crops have been destroyed. In response, both local and international supporters have come to their aid.[28]

Khan al-Lubban[edit]

Arches of Khan al-Lubban

Between al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya and Sinjil is the Khan al-Lubban caravansary. The exact date of its construction is not clear, although its architectural style indicates it was built during the Mamluk or early Ottoman eras.[citation needed] Large parts of its western and northern sides were restored and reconstructed in the later Ottoman period as indicated by the size and style of the stones.[citation needed] Factors behind its construction include its important location as a crossroads between central Palestine's major towns and the close proximity of a freshwater well.[29]

In the spring of 1697, Henry Maundrell stayed at the Khan first on the way south to Jerusalem,[30] and then on the way back.[31] Maundrell was also the first person to identify the place as "Lebonah" (Judges 21:19).[30]

In 1838 Edward Robinson found the Khan "in ruins", but noted near it a "fine fountain of running water",[32] the same was found by de Saulcy in 1850.[33] In 1882, the Khan was also described as "ruined", but with a fine spring beneath it.[34]

During the British Mandate period, the authorities took advantage of its strategic position and used Khan al-Lubban as a police station.[citation needed] The Jordanians continued to use the complex for the same purpose following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[citation needed] Presently, the site is open to the public and recent work has been carried out to accommodate more visitors.[29][citation needed]

Because of its proximity to the larger caravansary towns of Nablus and al-Bireh, Khan al-Lubban only consists of a single story, unlike most caravansaries which have two or more.[citation needed] The layout of Khan al-Lubban is square-shaped, with each side measuring roughly 23 meters in length. Most of the original building remains intact, with the entrance way bordered by stables on both sides and leading into a courtyard.[citation needed] The eastern and western rooms served administrative functions while the northern rooms served as visitor lodging.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 238
  2. ^ David A. Dorsey (1987). "Shechem and the Road Network of Central Samaria". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (268): 57–70. 
  3. ^ Israel Finkelstein, Shlomo Bunimovitz and Zvi Lederman (1985). "Excavations at Shiloh 1981-1984: Preliminary Report". Tel Aviv 12: 123–180. 
  4. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 816
  5. ^ Pringle, 1997, p. 119
  6. ^ Röhricht, 1893, RHH, p. 82, No. 321; cited in Pringle, 1998, p. 105
  7. ^ Ellenblum, 2003, p. 245
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 131
  9. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. 164-5
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 286
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Nablus, p. 25
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 62
  13. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 18
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 60
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 107
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 157
  17. ^ Pedahzur and Perliger, 2011, pp. 95–96
  18. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 110.
  19. ^ An infrastructure of Jewish terror Since the very beginning of the settlement enterprise, more than four decades ago, Israel has seized West Bank lands via an orchestrated, systematic and violent system. The victims of this process lose their agricultural fields, and thus their ability to lead a normal life. By Dror Etkes and Roi Maor, 11 September 2009, Haaretz
  20. ^ a b Associated Press, 'Israeli firefighters: West Bank mosque fire likely arson, at Haaretz,May 06, 2010.
  21. ^ PA blames settlers for torching W. Bank mosque
  22. ^ Chaim Levinson,Current West Bank olive harvest most violent in years, defense document reveal,' at Haaretz, 19 October 2010.
  23. ^ Harriet Sherwood, 'West Bank Olive Groves become battleground,' at The Guardian, 24 October 2010.
  24. ^ 'IDF soldier linked to 'price tag' attack in West Bank Palestinian village,', at Haaretz, 10 February 2012
  25. ^ How dispossession happens. The humanitarian impact of the takeover of Palestinian springs by Israeli settlers, March 2012, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory
  26. ^ Zafrir Rinat,'Report: Jewish settlers now control dozens of West Bank springs,' at Haaretz, 20 March 2012.
  27. ^ Zafrir Rinat,'Springwater flows in the West Bank, but who controls it?,' at Haaretz, 5 April 2012.
  28. ^ Palestine olive farmers cultivate resistance, Dalia Hatuqa, 28 October 2012, Al Jazeera
  29. ^ a b c Abu Khalaf, Marwan. Khan al-Lubban. Excerpt from Islamic Art in the Mediterranean provided by Museum With No Frontiers.
  30. ^ a b Maundrell, 1703, p. 62: March 24, 1697
  31. ^ Maundrell, 1703, p. 109: April 15, 1697
  32. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, p. 90
  33. ^ de Saulcy, 1854, vol 1, p. 104
  34. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 324


External links[edit]