|• Arabic||بيت إكسا|
|• Also spelled||Beit Exa (official)
Bayt Iksa (unofficial)
View of Beit Iksa, 2011
|• Type||Village council|
|• Head of Municipality||Bajes Abud|
|• Jurisdiction||7,734 dunams (7.7 km2 or 3.0 sq mi)|
|Name meaning||"The house of Iksa"|
Beit Iksa (Arabic: بيت إكسا;) is a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem Governorate, located 6 kilometers northwest of Jerusalem in the West Bank. It lies 775–800 metres above sea-level. Beit Iksa, a village of 1,700 inhabitants, was classified as "Area B" as a result of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1995. Since then, civil affairs have been under the control of the Palestinian National Authority, while security matters are handled by the Israel Defense Forces. The village is surrounded on all sides by the Israeli West Bank barrier, and outside Palestinians are denied access through the one Israeli checkpoint leading to it. In 2014 Israeli military authorities announced they would confiscate a further 3,167 acress of Beit Iksa lands, leaving the township, according to the village head, Saada al-Khatib, as a 2,500-dunum prison.
Beit Iksa lies on one of the historical routes that joined the Mediterranean coastal plain with Jerusalem, and its existence is attested as early as the 5th century CE. An alternative name for the site was Umm el-'Ela During the Crusader period, the village was known as Jenanara, according to its inhabitants.
The village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine and in 1596, it appeared under the name of Bayt Kisa in the tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. It had a population of 79 households, all Muslim, and paid taxes on wheat, barley, olive trees, vineyards, fruit trees, orchard, goats or bee hives, and a press for olives or grapes.
In 1841 a local leader (nāzir), Abd al-Qadir al-Khatib, built an Ottoman castle located in the southern part of the village, while one of his brother built a smaller version five years later. In 1863, the French explorer Victor Guérin passed by the village and was told it had 300 inhabitants. He noted that the surroundings were cultivated with vines and olive trees. An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that "Bet Iksa" had 70 houses and a population of 147, though the population count included only men. According to Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau, he was informed in 1874 that the inhabitant belonged to the Beni Zeid tribe and that the village earlier had been named Umm el Ela.
In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a "village of moderate size, with stone houses, and a well on the north, near which is a tree sacrted to an otherwise unknown prophet, Nabī Leimûun. There are a few olives round the village." A cult of saints celebrated also a Sheikh Mubarak, Sheikh Itayim, and Sheikh Hasan.
British Mandate era
In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, "Bait Iksa" had a population of 791, all Muslims, increasing in the 1931 census to a population of 1003, still all Muslims, in 221 houses.
In 1945, Bein Iksa had a population of 1,410, all Arabs, with 8,179 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 1,427 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 2,690 used for cereals, while 43 dunams were built-up land.
In April 1948, most of the villagers fled following the fall of Deir Yassin and the Haganah entered the village destroying many buildings. In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Beit Iksa came under Jordanian rule.
After the Six-Day War in 1967, Beit Iksa has been under Israeli occupation. 93% is under full Israeli military control while over half of the land lies beyond the confines of the West Bank separation barrier girdling the township, resulting in a de facto confiscation. The majority of the present population came to the village as refugees in the wake of the Six Day War, when its original inhabitants were forced to flee. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Beit Iksa has been under Israel occupation. In November 2014, Israeli authorities delivered a notification to the village, declaring the intention of confiscating 12,852 dunums (3,176 acres) of their land, including the areas of Haraeq al-Arab, Thahr Biddu, Numus, and Khatab. The given reason for the confiscation states that the land is required "for military purposes". Landholders were given until 31 December 2017 to remain on their land. Jewish-only settlements, including Ramot, have been built on 1,500 dunums (371 acres) on village land, and according to the village major, the order came through after the Israel government announced plans for a further 244 housing units to be built in Ramot.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Beit Iksa had a population of approximately 1,600 inhabitants in mid-year 2006. From the population, over 80% are Palestinian refugees. By 2014 the population had grown to some 1,700.
According to the land researcher Sami Hadawi, the population grew to 1,410 in 1945. However, following Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, Beit Iksa counted 633 inhabitants, due to the number of residents that fled the village. Most of the village's inhabitants hold Palestinian ID cards and live in Beit Iksa's built-up area of 417 dunams or 5.4% of the village's total land area of 7,734 dunams.
- Palmer, 1881, p. 286
- Village Profiles: Profile of Beit Iksa, Jerusalem United Nations Relief and Works Agency. January 2004.
- 'Israel to confiscate 3,200 acres of Palestinian land near Jerusalem,'Ma'an News Agency 8 November 2014.
- Sharon, 1999, p. 105 -108
- Clermont-Ganneau, 1899, vol. 1, p. 479
- Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 121.
- Guérin, 1868, p. 256
- Socin, 1879, p. 146
- Clermont-Ganneau, 1896, vol. 2, p. 42
- Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 8
- Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 14
- Mills, 1932, p. 38
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 56
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 101
- Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 151
- Morris, 1987, pp.114,158
- Projected Mid -Year Population for Jerusalem Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
- Beit Iksa village loses its lands for the Israeli Segregation Wall Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beit Iksa.|
- Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922 (PDF). Government of Palestine.
- Clermont-Ganneau, Charles Simon (1899). [ARP] Archaeological Researches in Palestine 1873-1874, translated from the French by J. McFarlane 1. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Clermont-Ganneau, Charles Simon (1896). [ARP] Archaeological Researches in Palestine 1873-1874, translated from the French by J. McFarlane 2. London: Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Conder, Claude Reignier; Kitchener, H. H. (1883). The Survey of Western Palestine: Memoirs of the Topography, Orography, Hydrography, and Archaeology 3. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Guérin, Victor (1868). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 1: Judee, pt. 1. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale.
- Guérin, Victor (1875). Description Géographique Historique et Archéologique de la Palestine (in French). 2: Samarie, pt. 2. Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale. p. 400
- Hadawi, Sami (1970). Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
- Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-920405-41-2.
- Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas (PDF). Jerusalem: Government of Palestine.
- Morris, Benny (1987). The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-33028-9.
- Palmer, E. H. (1881). The Survey of Western Palestine: Arabic and English Name Lists Collected During the Survey by Lieutenants Conder and Kitchener, R. E. Transliterated and Explained by E.H. Palmer. Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund.
- Robinson, Edward; Smith, Eli (1841). Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount Sinai and Arabia Petraea: A Journal of Travels in the year 1838 2. Boston: Crocker & Brewster. (p. 141)
- Sharon, Moshe (1999). Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae, B-C 2. BRILL. ISBN 9004110836.
- Socin, A. (1879). "Alphabetisches Verzeichniss von Ortschaften des Paschalik Jerusalem". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 2: 135–163.
- Official website
- Welcome To Bayt Iksa
- Survey of Western Palestine, Map 17: IAA, Wikimedia commons
- January 1, 1995 :"Minaret of Arab village of Beit Iksa confronts Jewish district of Ramot."
- May 17, 2006 :"Beit Iksa village loses its lands for the Israeli Segregation Wall"
- December 8, 2006: "Beit Iksa: the making of another ghetto"
- January 16, 2007 :"Israel hits Beit Iksa, Nabi Samuel and Beit Surik with new military order in favor of the Segregation Wall"
- August 17, 2008: "The Zionist La Passionara" (extensive reference within a bigger article)
- August 4, 2009 :"Israel annexes Palestinian village near Jerusalem"
- December 17, 2010: Israel Decides To Confiscate 50 Dunams In East Jerusalem
- July 21, 2011: Troops Uproot Olive Orchards Near Jerusalem