Zaytun Quarter

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Al-Zaytun (also spelled Zeitoun or Harat az-Zaytoun, Arabic translation: "the Quarter of Olive trees"[1]) is the southwestern and largest quarter of Gaza's Old City.[2] Prior to the demolition of the Old City's walls, it was one of the three walled quarters of Gaza's Old City, the other two being al-Tuffah in the northeast and al-Daraj in the northwest. Omar Mukhtar Street, Gaza City's main thoroughfare, separates al-Zaytun from al-Daraj.[3]


The northwestern part of al-Zaytun was known as "Dar al-Khudar" ("the Vegetable House"), which was a small subdivision that contained the open-air vegetable market known as "Suq al-Khudar". In 1525, Dar al-Khudar contained 43 households,[2] while Zaytun, the south eastern part of present Al-Zaytun, had 54 households and 30 bachelors,[4] and Nasara, close to the Church of Saint Porphyrius, had 82 households.[5]

The Christian and Jewish neighborhoods of Gaza were also a part of al-Zaytun. The 5th century Saint Porphryrius Church, belonging to the Greek Orthodox denomination, is located in al-Zaytun and stands alongside the 14th century Kateb al-Welaya Mosque, with only two meters of space in between the former's bell tower and the latter's minaret. Adjacent to the church is the old Christian graveyard.[3] Also located in al-Zaytun is the al-Shamah Mosque.[6]


  1. ^ Palmer, p. 359
  2. ^ a b Sharon, 2009, p. 29
  3. ^ a b Sharon, 2009, p. 30
  4. ^ Cohen and Lewis, 1978, p. 117
  5. ^ Cohen and Lewis, 1978, p. 119
  6. ^ Sharon, 2009, p. 31


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Coordinates: 31°29′47″N 34°27′08″E / 31.4964°N 34.4522°E / 31.4964; 34.4522