Al-Qubeiba, Jerusalem

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This article is about the Palestinian village in Jerusalem Governorate. For the former village in Ramle Sub-district, see Al-Qubayba, Ramle. For the former village in Hebron Sub-district, see Al-Qubayba, Hebron.
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic القبيبة
 • Also spelled al-Qubeibah (official)
al-Qubaybah (unofficial)
Qubeiba view01 2012-03-17.jpg
al-Qubeiba is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of al-Qubeiba within Palestine
Coordinates: 31°50′23.76″N 35°08′12.66″E / 31.8399333°N 35.1368500°E / 31.8399333; 35.1368500Coordinates: 31°50′23.76″N 35°08′12.66″E / 31.8399333°N 35.1368500°E / 31.8399333; 35.1368500
Governorate Jerusalem
 • Type Municipality
 • Head of Municipality Mr. Hasanayn Hammouda
Population (2010)
 • Jurisdiction 3,321
Name meaning The little dome[1]

Al-Qubeiba (Arabic: القبيبة‎) is a small Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate, located 11 kilometers Northwest of Jerusalem in the northern West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 3,321 in 2010.[2] Al-Qubeiba lies at an altitude of 783m to 795m above sea-level. It is located in a conflict area near the border with Israel between Ramallah and Jerusalem. The settlement of Giv'on HaHadashah lies 5 km southeast of al-Qubeiba. It is surrounded by the town of Biddu (east), Beit 'Anan (northwest), Qatanna (southwest), and Kharayib Umm al-Lahim (west). Unlike the surrounding region, al-Qubeiba has large areas covered with pine and olive trees.


In the Crusader era a new Frankish town was erected along the still extant Roman road and received the name Parva Mahomeria.[3] In 1159 it was mentioned in a document defining its borders with Beit 'Anan.[3][4]

After the expulsion of the Crusaders from the Holy Land, the next Christian established presence in Palestine were the Franciscan custodians of the holy sites. During the 13th century Qubeibeh has gradually been adopted by pilgrims as the location of Emmaus, the town mentioned in Luke 24:13-35, eventually replacing Abu Ghosh in this function. From 1335 on the Franciscans adopted it too and began an annual pilgrimage to this site.[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1863 the French explorer Victor Guérin described it as a village of a hundred people who lived in old houses, each consisting of a single vaulted room.[6]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a "village of moderate size, standing on a flat ridge withe a few olives to the west. [..] To the west is a monastery of Latin monks, established in 1862."[7] A ruined Crusader church was noted.[8]

al-Qubeiba during the British Mandate

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Al-Qubeiba had a population 236, 26 Christians and 210 Muslims,[9] where all the Christians were Roman Catholics.[10] This had increased in the 1931 census to 316, 55 Christians and 261 Muslim, in 83 houses.[11]

In 1945 Al-Qubeiba had a population of 420; 340 Muslims and 80 Christians,[12] with 3,184 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[13] Of this, 534 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 1,032 used for cereals,[14] while 22 dunams were built-up land.[15]


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


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


See also: Emmaus

Al-Qubeiba is known for its cool climate during summer time and its natural landscape. The village serves as a tourist destination because it houses an over-a-century-old Franciscan church that was built on the remains of a Crusader precursor at the very place where Jesus Christ is thought to have shared bread with two of his disciples. The town has remains of the cobble-stoned Roman road that connected the coastal city of Jaffa to Jerusalem. This historic road is surrounded by remains of Crusader houses.[citation needed]

Of the three major candidates identified with Emmaus, Al-Qubeiba is the only one located in the Palestinian territories, which means that if visitors are coming from Israel access can be more difficult. For pilgrims it is advisable to coordinate your visit with the offices of the Franciscans. For individual travellers it is useful to contact the Christian Information Center in Jerusalem ( For more access information look below under "Transportation".

Geopolitical status[edit]

Al-Qubeiba along with Beit Duqqu, Beit 'Anan, Beit Surik, Qatanna, Biddu, Beit Ijza, Kharayib Umm al-Lahim and at-Tira form the "Biddu enclave". The enclave is linked to Ramallah by underpasses and a road that is fenced on both sides. From the "Biddu enclave" Palestinians will travel along a fenced road that passes under a bypass road to Bir Nabala enclave, then on a second underpass under Bypass Road 443 to Ramallah.[16]

Diaa' A-Din 'Abd al-Karim Ibrahim Abu 'Eid was shot dead by gunfire during an anti-barrier demonstration on 18 April 2004.[17] Muhammad Fadel Hashem Rian and Zakaria Mahmoud 'Eid Salem were shot dead during anti-barrier demonstrations on 26 February 2004 at Beit Ijaz (a satellite village of Biddu).[17]


Al-Qubeiba is accessible only by road (via service-shuttles or buses) from either Ramallah or Jerusalem. Nonetheless, due to the closure of the roads from the town to Jerusalem during the second intifada, only those with foreign passports or with the Jerusalem ID cards can reach the town from Jerusalem. This leaves the only possible access to the town to be from Ramallah via buses #40 and #45 and the service shuttles destined to al-Qubeiba, Qatannah, and Beit 'Anan (all found in the southern public transportation station in Ramallah, just across from the Yasser Arafat Square "al-Sa'a Square" in the city). Several mini-vans operate on the road between al-Qubeiba and the neighboring villages and towns.


Al-Qubeiba has two government-run schools (one mixed-gender elementary and another all-girls secondary schools). It also enjoys several kindergartens and pre-schools. The town also houses the "al-Qubeiba Nursing School" that operates in association with the Bethlehem University School of Nursing to provide students with a bachelor's degree in nursing.


The medical facilities for al-Qubeiba are classified as level 2 according to the Palestinian National Authority Ministry of Health.[18] Governmental primary and secondary health care clinics operate in the town in addition to a German-run clinic. Several other private medical and dental clinics also exist.[citation needed]


The town is run by a village council elected every four years and is mainly funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Authority. al-Qubeiba has a locally funded-and-run "al-Qubeiba Club" that provides numerous educational, vocational, sports, and scout activities to the residents of the town. The town also enjoys the presence of one park (with an outdoor semi-olympic swimming pool) and two large multi-purpose halls for weddings and other major events. It also has a fully automated modern olive press that operates to service farmers from the town and the neighboring towns and villages, being one of the few olive presses in the West Bank licensed to produce extra virgin organic olive oil.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 313
  2. ^ Localities in Jerusalem Governorate by Type of Locality and Population Estimates, 2007-2016. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  3. ^ a b Pringle, 1998, pp. 167-9
  4. ^ Röhricht, 1893, RHH, p. 88, no 338
  5. ^, editor: Pat McCarthy
  6. ^ Guérin, 1868, pp. 348-61
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 17
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, pp. 130-131
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 15
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XIV, p. 45
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 42
  12. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 25
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 58
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 104
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 154
  16. ^ OCHA
  17. ^ a b B'Tselem West Bank Statistics
  18. ^ Health care Facilities West Bank


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