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Halamish is located in the West Bank
Coordinates: 32°0′29.07″N 35°7′37.98″E / 32.0080750°N 35.1272167°E / 32.0080750; 35.1272167Coordinates: 32°0′29.07″N 35°7′37.98″E / 32.0080750°N 35.1272167°E / 32.0080750; 35.1272167
Council Mateh Binyamin
Region West Bank
Affiliation Amana
Founded November 1, 1977
Founded by Gush Emunim
Population (2009) 1,054
Website Neve Tzuf Halamish

Halamish (Hebrew: חַלָּמִישׁ. lit. Flint), also known as Neveh Tzuf (Hebrew: נווה צוף‎, lit. Nectar Home), is a communal Israeli settlement in the West Bank, located in the southwestern Samarian hills to the north of Ramallah, 10.7 kilometers east of the Green line. The Orthodox Jewish community with a population of 1,054 (2009) was established in 1977. It falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Binyamin Regional Council.

The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[1]

According to a Peace Now-report of 2006, 33 percent of the land Neveh Tzuf is built on, is privately owned, all or most of it by Palestinians.[2] even though the Supreme Court of Israel had ruled during the time of the village's founding that the land was state land.[3]

The settlement of Neveh Tzuf has several outposts,[4] and is home to the religious pre-army Mechina Elisha.[5]


On 16 October 1977, two groups of settlers, one religious, calling itself “Neveh Tzuf” and one secular, called “Neveh Tzelah” with a total of 40 families moved into the abandoned former British Tegart fort building near the Palestinian village Nabi Salih.[6]

The original name of the settlement, Neveh Tzuf, was rejected by the government naming committee, arguing that it might be misleading since the biblical location, Eretz Tzuf, was elsewhere. The naming committee gave the new settlement the official name 'Halamish' instead, and since this was rejected by the settlers, both names are used for the settlement.[6]

Israeli-Palestinian conflict[edit]

Upon the first work preparing the land, residents of the nearby Palestinian village Deir Nidham went to the Supreme Court of Israel and claimed ownership of the Havlata Hill, which is now in the centre of Halamish. Based on aerial photos from the turn of the 20th century, showing the disputed land to be barren, and Ottoman Empire land law specifying that land not worked for over ten years becomes state land, the land on that hill was declared state land and freed for settlement constructions. This court ruling became the precedent for future land ownership disputes.[3]

The residents of the nearby Palestinian village of Nabi Salih regularly protest against the takeover of a spring by settlers of Halamish, declared an "antiquities site" by the Civil Administration, which is located on private land belonging to inhabitants of Nabi Salih, as well as against being prevented from working the fields around the spring.[7] The protests regularly lead to violent clashes, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and Israeli forces firing on protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons.[8] Since the end of 2009, 64 people (13% of the village's population) has been arrested by Israeli forces.[9] Bassem al-Tamimi, one of the leaders of the protests, who was declared a human rights defender by the European Union and a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, has been arrested twelve times to date.[8] On 24 March 2011 he was arrested and charged with incitement, holding a march without a permit, sending youths to throw stones, and perverting the course of justice.[10] After an 11-month military trial, he was cleared of the central charge of incitement and of perverting the course of justice by an Israeli military court, but found guilty of taking part in illegal demonstrations and of soliciting protesters to throw stones largely based on the testimony of two Palestinian youths aged 14 and 15.[8][10] After being released on bail on 24 April 2012,[10] he was given a 13-month sentence in May 2012, corresponding to the time he had served in prison while awaiting trial.[11]


  1. ^ "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  2. ^ In the data provided by the Civil Administration “there is no mention of whether the private land is owned by Palestinians or by Jews... Nevertheless, it is highly probable that most of the land that is marked here as private land (if not all of it) is privately-owned Palestinian land”.“Settlement are built on Private Palestinian Land”. Peace Now, March 14, 2007
  3. ^ a b Hoberman, Haggai (2008). Keneged Kol HaSikuim [Against All Odds] (in Hebrew) (1st ed.). Sifriat Netzarim page = 169. 
  4. ^ "Settlement Outposts". Foundation for Middle East Peace. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Mechinot". Jewish Agency. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Hoberman, Haggai (2008). Keneged Kol HaSikuim [Against All Odds] (in Hebrew) (1st ed.). Sifriat Netzarim. 
  7. ^ Gideon Levy (22 April 2010). "A spa for Samaria. Every Friday, villagers demonstrate against the excavation of the spring.". Haaretz. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Harriet Sherwood (20 May 2012). "Palestinian protester cleared of incitement charge". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Amira Hass (28 March 2011). "Mighty Israel and its quest to quash Palestinian popular protest". Haaretz. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c Steve Weizman (20 May 2012). "West Bank activist Tamimi convicted of stoning charge". Google News. Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  11. ^ The Associated Press (29 May 2012). "Palestinian protest leader walks free". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 

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