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  • פַסּוּטָה
  • فسوطة
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259P̄assúṭa
Entrance to Fassouta
Entrance to Fassouta
Fassouta is located in Northwest Israel
Fassouta is located in Israel
Coordinates: 33°02′58″N 35°18′21″E / 33.04944°N 35.30583°E / 33.04944; 35.30583Coordinates: 33°02′58″N 35°18′21″E / 33.04944°N 35.30583°E / 33.04944; 35.30583
Grid position179/272 PAL
 • TypeLocal council
 • Total3,149
Name meaningFassute, personal name[2]

Fassouta (Arabic: فسوطة‎‎, Hebrew: פַסּוּטָה‬‎) is a local council on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border.[3] In 2018 it had a population of 3,149, nearly all of whom are Christians.[1]


There have been several archaeological excavation at Fassuta, which reveal settlement from the Early Bronze Age, through the Iron Age, Hellenistic and the Mamluk eras.[4][5][6][7]

In the Crusader era Fassuta was known as Fassove.[8][citation needed] In 1183 it was noted that Godfrey de Tor sold the land of the village to Joscelin III.[9] In 1220 Jocelyn III´s daughter Beatrix de Courtenay and her husband Otto von Botenlauben, Count of Henneberg, sold their land, including Fassove, to the Teutonic Knights.[10][11]

Ottoman era[edit]

Fassuta was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and in the 1596 tax records it was part of the Nahiya of Akka of the Safad Sanjak. It had a population of 12 Muslim households and 3 Muslim bachelors. The villagers paid a fixed tax-rate of 20% on wheat, barley, fruit trees, and goats or beehives; a total of 1,988 akçe.[12]

In 1838 Fesutha was noted as a Christian and Druze village in the El-Jebel district, west of Safad.[13]

In 1881, the PEF's "Survey of Western Palestine" (SWP) described Fassuta as "a village, built of stone, containing about 200 Christians, situated on ridge, with gardens of figs, olives, and arable land. There are two cisterns in the village, and a good spring near."[14]

A population list from about 1887 showed Fassutah to have about 570 inhabitants.[15]

British Mandate era[edit]

Mar Elias Church

At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate, Fassuta had a population of 459, 444 Christians and 15 Muslims,[16] where the Christians were 1 Orthodox, 18 Syrian orthodox, and 425 Melkites.[17] In the 1931 census, the combined population of Fassuta and Mansura was 507 Palestinian Christians and 81 Muslims, living in a total of 129 houses.[18]

In the 1945 statistics Fassuta had 1,050 inhabitants.[19][20] The combined population of Fassuta, Al-Mansura and Dayr al-Qasi was 2,300, and their total land area was 34,011 dunums.[20][21] 1,607 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 6,475 used for cereals,[22] while 247 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[23] Between 1922 and 1947, the population of Fassuta increased by 120%.[24]

1948, and aftermath[edit]

At the end of October 1948 the village was captured by the Israeli army during Operation Hiram. Most of the Muslim population fled or were expelled but many of the Christians remained. In December 1949 the IDF put forward a plan to expel the remaining population of Fassuta and five other villages in order to create a 5–10 km Arab-free zone along the Lebanon border. This plan was blocked by the Foreign Ministry which feared international reaction.[25] The Arab population remained under Martial Law until 1966.


In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900 residents, with an annual population growth rate of 0.9%. All of the inhabitants are Christians of the Melkite (Greek) Catholic Church.[26] In 2000, 60.5% of Fassuta high school students passed the Bagrut matriculation exam.[citation needed] In 2000, the mean income was NIS 3,748, compared to a national average of NIS 6,835.[citation needed]

Religion and culture[edit]

In 2007, the Mar Elias Church in Fassuta celebrated its 100th anniversary. The church is named after Elias, the village's patron saint. A large statue of Mar Elias stands in the central square.[3]


In 1875, Guerin found traces of ancient ruins: "Numerous cisterns, a great reservoir, vestiges of many ruined houses, fine cut stones marking out floors, and a dozen of presses nearly perfect. These presses are all on the same model : worked in the rock, they consisted of two compartments, one larger, in which the grapes were placed, and one smaller and lower down, in which the juice was received. In the humble church of the modern hamlet I remarked a chapter imitating Corinthian, and probably of Byzantine period. On two of its faces a cross with equal branches has been sculptured. Above the door of the main church has been placed for a lintel a fragment of frieze decorated with flowers and foliage elegantly executed."[27]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Population in the Localities 2018" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 25 August 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 72
  3. ^ a b Stern, Yoav (2007-04-30). "Galilee Villages Launch Campaign to Attract Christian Pilgrims". Haaretz. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  4. ^ Bron, 2007, Fassuta
  5. ^ Tahan, 2009, Fassuta
  6. ^ Bron, 2010, Fassuta
  7. ^ Abu-‘Uqsa, 2013, Fassuta, Survey
  8. ^ Arabesques: A Novel, by Anton Shammas
  9. ^ Strehlke, 1869, pp. 15-16, No. 16; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 125, No. 624; cited in Frankel, 1988, pp. 257, 264
  10. ^ Strehlke, 1869, pp. 43- 44, No. 53; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 248, No. 934; cited in Frankel, 1988, pp. 257, 264
  11. ^ Marzorati, Gerald (1988-09-11). "An Arab Voice in Israel". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
  12. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 194
  13. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p. 133
  14. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 197
  15. ^ Schumacher, 1888, p. 191
  16. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 36
  17. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XVI, p.50
  18. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 100
  19. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 4
  20. ^ a b Village Statistics April 1945, The Palestine Government Archived June 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, p. 2
  21. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 40
  22. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 80
  23. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 130
  24. ^ Transformation in Arab Settlement, Moshe Brawer, in The Land that Became Israel: Studies in Historical Geography, Ruth Kark (ed), Magnes Press, Jerusalem 1989, p.177
  25. ^ Morris, 1987, pp. 225, 242, 251
  26. ^ פסוטה 2014
  27. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 67, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 222
  28. ^ El-Asmar, Fouzi (1975). To Be an Arab in Israel. London: Frances Pinter. pp. 177–8. ISBN 0-903804-08-5.
  29. ^ "Anton Shammas". Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center. Archived from the original on 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-10-25.


External links[edit]