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Almon, Mateh Binyamin

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Almon is located in the Central West Bank
Almon is located in the West Bank
Almon is located in the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°49′54.12″N 35°17′43.44″E / 31.8317000°N 35.2954000°E / 31.8317000; 35.2954000Coordinates: 31°49′54.12″N 35°17′43.44″E / 31.8317000°N 35.2954000°E / 31.8317000; 35.2954000
DistrictJudea and Samaria Area
CouncilMateh Binyamin
RegionWest Bank

Almon (Hebrew: עַלְמוֹן), also known as Anatot (Hebrew: עֲנָתוֹת), is an Israeli settlement organized as a community settlement in the West Bank. Located near Jerusalem, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council. In 2018 it had a population of 1,378.

The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[2]


According to ARIJ, Almon is located on 783 dunams of land which Israel confiscated from the Palestinian town of 'Anata.[3]

Anatot was established in 1982 by secular families with the help of the Amana organisation. It was named Anatot after the Kohanic city of Anathoth mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah 1:1. The later name Almon has its origins in the Bible[4] (Joshua 21:18, here mentioned together with Anatot). The original biblical site of Almon is believed to lay on the adjacent mountain, southwest of Almon, in what is called Khirbet Almit, based on the testimony of a Jewish pilgrim to the region in 1850.[5]

Until 1990, Anatot was the site of an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) detention center. It was closed on February 7, 1990, after the Association for Civil Rights in Israel petitioned the High Court of Justice to shut down the jail because of inhumane conditions there.[6] The IDF closed the facility voluntarily before the High Court could rule on the petition.[7]

Land disputes

According to one Ta'ayush source, the settlement is built on the property of an Israeli Arab citizen, Abu Salah al Rifai.[8] Anatot settlers claim that they have been subject to harassment by activists, while Ta'ayush members and other activists claim they suffered attacks by large numbers of settlers from the township while trying to assist a local Palestinian in protecting his property.[9][10]

Anatot is the site of one of many quarries operated by Israeli companies in the West Bank. Yesh Din legal counsel Michael Sfard said that "according to international law, so long as the West Bank is not annexed to Israel, it is forbidden for Israel to exploit the natural resources there for non-security related purposes." Sfard also stated that 74% of the gravel mined from these quarries is used for construction inside Israel, and that that means the existence of the quarries violates international law.[11]

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Israeli quarries in the West Bank are legal.[12]


Almon is located on a hill near the ruins of the Hariton Monastery and the Prat Stream, between Jerusalem, (Pisgat Ze'ev), and Ma'ale Adumim/Kfar Adumim. It is close to the Palestinian villages 'Anata and Hizma.


Almon is connected to Jerusalem and Highway 1 via Road 437. Buses are the only form of public transport available, entering the village eleven times per workday.

Anatot was one of a number of settlements linked by a road secretly built by settlers in 1995. The road links Anatot to Kfar Adumim, Nofei Prat, and Alon. According to Pinhas Wallerstein, then head of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, the road was one of a number under clandestine construction in the area. Wallerstein claimed that as council head, he did not need permission to construct roads, but that he would stop construction if the Israel Defense Forces told him to. He also said "What are they going to do, tell us to take the road away? If the road is illegal let them take us to court."[13]

Legal status

The international community considers Israeli settlements to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention's prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power's civilian population into occupied territory.[14] Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them. This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.[15]

In popular culture

The 1988 HBO movie Steal the Sky, starring Mariel Hemingway and Ben Cross, was partially filmed in Anatot, which was used as a location substitute for Iraq. The producer bought war insurance which covered the production for up to $2 million in case the production was disrupted by the Arab-Israeli conflict.[16]


  1. ^ "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. ^ "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  3. ^ 'Anata Town Profile ARIJ, 2012, p. 19
  4. ^ Carta's Official Guide to Israel and Complete Gazetteer to all Sites in the Holy Land. (3rd edition 1993) Jerusalem, Carta, p.76 , ISBN 965-220-186-3 (English)
  5. ^ Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine (Testimony of Joseph Schwarz, 1850, s.v. Almon); for location "Khirbet Almit" in relation to Anata, see 1880 map of region, in: Survey of Western Palestine, Map 17: IAA, Wikimedia commons
  6. ^ Dan Izenberg (February 15, 1990). "Rights Group Gets IDF to Close Jail". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  7. ^ Joel Greenberg (January 26, 1990). "IDF to Shut Down Anatot Detention Centre". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  8. ^ Mairav Zonszein 23 Israelis and Palestinians injured – some including broken bones and bloody gashes – in an attack by settlers from the settlement of Anatot just outside Jerusalem, West Bank, in +972 Magazine, 30 September 2011 reprinted in Jfjfp.
  9. ^ Yair Altman Leftists, settlers clash near Jerusalem, in Ynet 1 October 2011.
  10. ^ Eyal Raz, Israel police turned a blind eye to a lynching, Haaretz 4 October 2011.
  11. ^ Yaakov Lappin (May 21, 2009). "Israel freezes expansion of West Bank quarries following High Court petition". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Harriet Sherwood (Jan 3, 2012). "Israeli companies can profit from West Bank resources, court rules". The Guardian. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  13. ^ Herb Keinon (June 20, 1995). "Settlers Unveil Secretly-Built Road". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  14. ^ The settlers' struggle BBC News. 19 December 2003
  15. ^ Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Archived 2010-07-06 at the Wayback Machine International Court of Justice, 9 July 2004. pp. 44-45
  16. ^ Masha Hamilton (April 17, 1988). "HBO filming untouched by West Bank violence". Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA). Retrieved August 22, 2012.

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