Beit Sira

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Beit Sira
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic بيت سيرا
 • Also spelled Bayt Sira (official)
Beit Sira
Beit Sira
Beit Sira is located in the Palestinian territories
Beit Sira
Beit Sira
Location of Beit Sira within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°53′15″N 35°02′39″E / 31.88750°N 35.04417°E / 31.88750; 35.04417Coordinates: 31°53′15″N 35°02′39″E / 31.88750°N 35.04417°E / 31.88750; 35.04417
Palestine grid 154/143
Governorate Ramallah & al-Bireh
Government
 • Type Village council
Area
 • Jurisdiction 3,120 dunams (3.1 km2 or 1.2 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 2,749
Name meaning The house of the fold[1]

Beit Sira (Arabic: بيت سيرا‎‎) is a Palestinian village in the central West Bank, located 22 kilometers west of Ramallah and is a part of the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate. The village is situated along the Green Line. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, around 4,000 dunams of its land became a part of the "No-Man's Land" strip between the north-central West Bank and Israel. Currently Beit Sira's jurisdiction is 3,120 dunams, of which 441 dunams are built-up areas and the remainder is open spaces for future construction or agricultural land.[2]

History[edit]

In 1596 Beit Sira was a part of the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Ramla, which was under the administration of the liwa ("district") of Gaza, in the Ottoman Empire. In the tax records that year it had a population of 17 household who were all Muslims. They paid a fixed tax-rate of 25 % on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, vineyards, fruit trees, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 4,500 Akçe. All of the revenue went to a Waqf.[3]

In 1863 Victor Guérin noted Beit Sira as a considerable village on the summit of a rocky hill. A saint, revered under the name of Neby Sira, had a sanctuary there with his tomb.[4] Socin, citing an official Ottoman village list compiled around 1870, noted that Bet Sira had 39 houses and a population of 125, though the population count included men, only.[5] Hartmann examining the same list, found that Bet Sira had 29 houses.[6]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it: "A small village on a swell in the low hills. A main road passes through it. The water supply is artificial."[7]

Mandatory Palestine era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Beit Sira had a population of 381 Muslims,[8] increasing in the 1931 census to 460 Muslims in 113 houses.[9]

In 1945 the population was 540, all Muslims,[10] while the total land area was 4,687 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[11] Of this, 205 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 1,924 for cereals,[12] while 23 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[13]

1948-1967[edit]

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

1967-present[edit]

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Beit Sira has been under Israeli occupation. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Beit Sira had a population of 2,840 inhabitants in 2006.[14] In the 2007 PCBS census, there were 2,749 people living in the town.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 287
  2. ^ Beit Sira: A Palestinian Village on the verge of diminishing Archived November 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem. 5 July 2004.
  3. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 156
  4. ^ Guérin, 1868, pp. 337-338
  5. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 147
  6. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 118
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 16
  8. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramallah, p. 16
  9. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 47
  10. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 26
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 64
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 111
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 161
  14. ^ Projected Mid -Year Population for Ramallah & Al Bireh Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  15. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.114.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]