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Deir Dibwan

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Deir Debwan
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicدير دبوان
 • LatinDeir Debwan (official)
Dayr Debwan (unofficial)
Deir Debwan is located in the Palestinian territories
Deir Debwan
Deir Debwan
Location of Deir Debwan within Palestine
Coordinates: 31°54′39″N 35°16′14″E / 31.91083°N 35.27056°E / 31.91083; 35.27056Coordinates: 31°54′39″N 35°16′14″E / 31.91083°N 35.27056°E / 31.91083; 35.27056
Palestine grid175/146
StateState of Palestine
GovernorateRamallah and al-Bireh
 • TypeVillage council
Elevation739 m (2,425 ft)
 • Total5,252
Name meaning"The Monastery of the Divan"[2]

Deir Dibwan (Arabic: دير دبوان‎) is a Palestinian city in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the central West Bank east of Ramallah. It is also the capital of the Eastern District with Mr. Iyad Mohammad Habbas AlAwawdah the mayor. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the town had a population of approximately 5,252 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.[3] There were 5,016 people from Deir Dibwan living abroad.[4] Deir Dibwan was built close to the ruins of Et-Tell.


The word "Deir" means monastery (church or temple) and the word "dibwan" came from the name of the "divan", or Council. It has also been called Deir Dubwan, where "Dubwan" is a proper name.[2]


Deir Dibwan is located 6.4 kilometers (4.0 mi) (horizontally) east of Ramallah. It is bordered by Ein ad-Duyuk al-Foqa to the east, Rammun and Ein Yabrud to the north, Beitin and Burqa to the west and Mukhmas and 'Anata to the south.[1]


Et-Tell is a mound located just west of the village.

Potsherds from the Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age II, Hellenistic/Roman, Byzantine, Crusader/Ayyubid and Mamluk era have been found.[5]

Deir Dibwan have been identified with the Crusader site named Dargebaam, or Dargiboan.[6]

Ottoman era

In 1517, the village was included in the Ottoman empire with the rest of Palestine, and in the 1596 tax-records it appeared as duhaniyya, located in the Nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Al-Quds. The population was 71 households, all Muslim. They paid a fixed tax rate of 33,3% on agricultural products, such as wheat, barley, olive trees, vineyards/fruit trees, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 30,000 akçe.[7][8][9] Potsherds from the early Ottoman era have also been found.[5]

In 1838, the American scholar Edward Robinson described Deir Dibwan as being "tolerably wealthy", and reportedly the producer of great quantities of figs.[10] It was noted as a Muslim village, located in the area immediately north of Jerusalem.[11]

The French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in July 1863, and described it as having five hundred inhabitants, situated on a rocky plateau. The highest point of the plateau was occupied by the remains of an old construction, which people referred to as Ed-Deir (the Monastery). He also note several cisterns dug into the rock, which he assumed dated from antiquity.[12] An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that "Der Diwan" had 161 houses and a population of 459, though the population count included only men.[13][14]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Deir Diwan as a "large and well-built stone village, standing on flat ground, with a rugged valley to the north and open ground to the south. There are a few scattered olives round the place. The inhabitants are partly Christian."[15]

In 1896 the population of Der Diwan was estimated to be about 1,338 persons.[16]

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, the village, called Dair Dilwan, had a population of 1,382 Muslims,[17] while in the 1931 census, the village had 384 occupied houses and a population of 1688, still all Muslims.[18]

In the 1945 statistics the population was 2,080 Muslims,[19] while the total land area was 73,332 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[20] Of this, 5,052 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 10,695 for cereals,[21] while 164 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[22]

Jordanian era

In the wake the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Deir Dibwan came under Jordanian rule.

In 1961, the population of Deir Dibwan was 2,812.[23]


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Deir Dibwan has been under Israeli occupation.

After the 1995 accords, 0.2% of the village land was defined as Area A land, 16.8% was Area B, while the remaining 83% was defined as Area C. Israel has confiscated about 1287 dunums of land from Deir Dibwan in order to construct the Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Mikhmas.[24]


According to the Israeli government,[25] Israel's Supreme Court,[26] and the Israeli organisation Peace Now, the land the illegal Israeli settlement of Migron sits on is owned by a number of Palestinian families living in Burqa and Deir Dibwan.[27]

In August 2008 the settler leadership of Migron were to vote on an Israeli Defense Ministry proposal to relocate the unauthorized Migron outpost, possibly to an undeveloped area of a nearby settlement. From the Israeli government-commissioned Sasson Report it was concluded that more than 4 million NIS of public funds were illegally invested in the outpost. On 17 December 2006 the Israeli State responded a petition from the legal owners, Palestinians from Deir Dibwan and Burqa, the Israeli State admitted that there was never any authorisation from any official, granted for its establishment. In addition the Israeli State admitted the outpost stands on private Palestinian land. After Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to evacuate the unauthorized outpost of Migron the Israeli State Prosecution informed the Israeli High Court of Justice of the decision.[28][29][30]

Deir Dibwan Association

The Deir Debwan Association[31] is headquartered in New Jersey, United States. Membership is not limited to any specific clan or tribe. It has representatives from each clan or tribe, as well as refugee groups living in the town. The association serves to provide a link to the town, a source of identity to its members, to increase their members' honor and increase the town's honor as well. This association provides a source of honor for those in the United States and for relatives in the town.


  1. ^ a b Deir Dibwan Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 4
  2. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 293
  3. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Archived December 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.114.
  4. ^ "Deir Debwan Official Website". Archived from the original on 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2019-07-21.
  5. ^ a b Finkelstein et al., 1997, p. 533
  6. ^ Finkelstein et al., 1997, p. 533, citing Prawer and Benvenisti, 1970. Note that Conder, 1890, p. 30 was of another opinion.
  7. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 121, has not identified it
  8. ^ Toledano, 1984, p. 293, has Dayr Diwan at location 35°15′50″E 31°54′45″N.
  9. ^ Ben-Arieh, 1985, p. 90
  10. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol. 2, p. 118 ff, 312
  11. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol. 3, 2nd appendix, p. 122
  12. ^ Guérin, 1869, pp. 53-54
  13. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 151. It was also noted to be in the Bire district
  14. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 127 also noted 161 houses
  15. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 9
  16. ^ Schick, 1896, p. 121
  17. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramallah, p. 16
  18. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 48.
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 26
  20. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 64
  21. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 111
  22. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 161
  23. ^ Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics, 1964, p. 14
  24. ^ Deir Dibwan Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 16
  25. ^ Chaim Levinson 02.08.11 (2 August 2011). "Israel's Supreme Court orders state to dismantle largest West Bank outpost". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  26. ^ Tovah Lazaroff "Migron settlers sign relocation agreement" at Jerusalem Post, 11 March 2012: "According to the court, Migron was constructed without proper permits on land that the state has classified as belonging to private Palestinians.."
  27. ^ "The Migron Petition". Peace Now. October 2006. Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
  28. ^ Peace now Archived 2007-10-23 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "State: Migron outpost to be evacuated within six months" Haaretz 23 January 2008 by Yuval Yoaz
  30. ^ "Settlers leaders to vote on moving Migron outpost" The Jerusalem Post 7 August 2008 by Tovah Lazaroff
  31. ^ http://www.deirdebwancharity.com


External links