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Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic الفندقومية
 • Also spelled al-Fandaqumiya (official)
Pentakomia (unofficial)
Fandaqumiya is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Fandaqumiya within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 32°19′13″N 35°12′13″E / 32.32028°N 35.20361°E / 32.32028; 35.20361Coordinates: 32°19′13″N 35°12′13″E / 32.32028°N 35.20361°E / 32.32028; 35.20361
Palestine grid 169/191
Governorate Jenin
 • Type Village council
 • Jurisdiction 3,895 dunams (3.9 km2 or 1.5 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 3,363

Fandaqumiya, (Arabic: الفندقومية‎‎, al-Fandaqumiyah, Pentakomia) is a Palestinian village located in the Jenin Governorate of the northern West Bank, northwest of Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 3,363 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.[1]


The Arabic name of the village, Al Fandaqumiyah (الفندقومي), is a corruption of the Greek term Pentakomia: Komia means 'village' or 'community', while penta means 'five'. Pentakomia probably refers to an administrative unit of five villages which existed in the area.[2][3][4]

A Pentakomia in Greece[citation needed] as well as one on the Euphrates River[5] probably share the etymology, and the Hebron area village of Tarqumiyah (Arabic ترقوميا) is based on the Greek Trikomia, or 'community of three.'


Fandaqumiya is located in the northern West Bank, on the road leading north from Nablus to Jenin. The village is partly situated on the slope of a hill in the Musheirif Range and partly built on adjacent ridges in between the valley of Jaba' to the north and the Musheirif hills to the south.[6] Its old core is in the slope part of the village with an elevation of 470 meters above sea level (about 30 meters higher than its surroundings) and a total area of 20 dunams.[7]

The nearest localities are Jaba' to the immediate east, Beit Imrin to the south, Burqa to the southwest, Silat ad-Dhahr to the immediate west, and Ajjah to the north. as well as the former Israeli settlements of Homesh and Sa-Nur, which were dismantled in Israel's 2005 unilateral disengagement plan.


Prehistoric period[edit]

The earliest findings in Fandaqumiya include a white clay jar filled with burned bones, which was found in a tomb. The examination of this jar at the Archaeological Department of the An-Najah National University suggested that it be dated to the Neolithic Period. A stone tool, circular in shape with a hole in the middle, was found alongside the jar, though it was never dated[citation needed].

Hellenistic period[edit]

Two coins dating back to the Greek period were found in the village. A prutah minted by Hasmonean ruler Alexander Jannaeus between 103 and 76 BCE, as well as a Greek coin of the Ptolmaic dynasty dated to the year 300 BCE.

Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader periods[edit]

There is evidence that the village flourished during the Early Roman and Late Byzantine periods. Many Roman and Byzantine coins were discovered on site, and many tombs from the same period were found in a nearby hill. Additionally several structures characteristic of the Roman and Byzantine periods have been unearthed.

A sacred cave exists above the village on the south, which is probably an ancient rock-cut chapel.[8]

Biblical historian and epigrapher, Aaron Demsky, has noted that the town is mentioned in the 3rd century Mosaic of Rehob.[9] The village is also mentioned in Crusader sources of 1178,[10] as a place sold to the Knights Hospitallers.[6]

Ottoman era[edit]

Viewpoint of village, the nearby village and fortress of Sanur can be seen in the background

Several coins and structures, including a mosque, may date from the Mamluk period, however very little else is known about the site during that stage.[citation needed].

In 1596 Fandaqumiyya appeared in the Ottoman tax registers as being in the nahiya of Jabal Sami in the liwa of Nablus. It had a population of eleven households and one bachelor, all Muslim. Taxes were paid on wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, occasional revenues, goats and beehives, and a press for olives or grapes.[11] Fandaqumiya was mentioned by the Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi in 1640.[6]

In 1830, during the military campaign against a revolt by the Jarrar clan of Sanur, Emir Bashir Shihab's forces set fire to Fandaqumiya.[6] In 1838, Edward Robinson passed by and noted it as a being a small village.[12]

French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1863 and 1870, and estimated it as having about 500 inhabitants. He describes it as being situated on the slopes of a high hill. With abundant waters, the whole slope was cultivated with beautiful olive trees, figs and pomegranates.[2] In the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (1882), Fandaqumiya was described as "a very small village on the slope of the hill, with three springs to the south-west, small and marshy."[4]

A spur of the Ottoman Hejaz railway to Damascus was built through the area, and a station was opened nearby at Sebastia. After the collapse of the Ottomans, locals took apart the rail infrastructure for secondary use in construction. Many of the steel beams can still be seen in the roofs of local homes.[citation needed]

British Mandate period[edit]

In 1917, Fandaqumiya was captured by General Allenby's British forces from the Ottomans, and three years later it was assigned to British Mandatory Palestine. In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Fandaqumiya had a population of 327, all Muslims.[13] This increased in the 1931 census when a population of 445, still all Muslim, living in 101 houses.[14]

Soon after the British arrived, they built a police fort on a nearby hill. Despite many villagers being employed in the construction, relations with the British forces were at times rocky owing to tax disputes. During the riots of 1936-1939, some villagers launched attacks on the British troops, and the village was subject to British reprisals.[citation needed]

During the 1940s, the British administration funded modern water and agriculture development projects as well as an elementary school.[citation needed] In 1945 the population was 630 Arabs, with 4,079 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[15] 885 dunams were used for plantations and irrigable land, 2,737 dunams for cereals,[16] while 14 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[17]

Modern era[edit]

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Fandaqumiya was ruled by the Hashemites of Jordan. Al Fandaqumiya came under Israeli occupation along with the rest of the West Bank after the 1967 Six-Day War, though after the 1995 signing of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it has been administered by the Palestinian Authority.


  1. ^ Projected Mid -Year Population for Jenin Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ a b Guérin, 1875, p. 216-217
  3. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 182
  4. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, vol 2, p. 155
  5. ^ There is a locality of this name in Arabia Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pentacomia". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  6. ^ a b c d Zertal, 2004, p. 307.
  7. ^ Zertal, 2004, p. 306.
  8. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, vol 2, p. 185
  9. ^ Aaron Demsky, The Permitted Villages of Sebaste in the Reḥov Mosaic, Israel Exploration Journal (vol. 29, no. 3/4), Jerusalem 1979, p. 190.
  10. ^ Rey, 1883, p. 426
  11. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 125.
  12. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol.3, pp. 150-151
  13. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Jenin, p. 29
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 68
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 54
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 98
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 148


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