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Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic حوسان
 • Also spelled Hussan (official)
Housan (unofficial)
View of Husan
View of Husan
Husan is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Husan within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°42′36″N 35°08′02″E / 31.71000°N 35.13389°E / 31.71000; 35.13389Coordinates: 31°42′36″N 35°08′02″E / 31.71000°N 35.13389°E / 31.71000; 35.13389
Palestine grid 162/124
Governorate Bethlehem
 • Type Municipality
 • Head of Municipality Jamal Sabatin
 • Jurisdiction 7,134 dunams (7.1 km2 or 2.7 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 5,511
Name meaning "Hovering round"[1]

Husan (Arabic: حوسان‎‎) is a Palestinian town located nine kilometers west of Bethlehem, in the Bethlehem Governorate. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Husan had a population of 5,511 in 2007.[2]


In Arabic, husan means "goodness and beauty". The name may also be derived from Hassan monastery, which later became Husan.[3] In 1881, Edward Henry Palmer wrote that it came from "hovering round".[1]


The oldest remains found in the village date back to the Iron Age. Other remains date from the post-Babylonian Exile Period and the Middle Ages.[4] The original inhabitants came from the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen in the 3rd century.[3] Ceramics from the Byzantine era have been found.[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

Husan, like the rest of Palestine, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and in the census of 1596, the village appeared in the tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. It had an all-Muslim population of 12 households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, summer crops, vineyards and fruit trees, vegetable and fruit garden, orchard, occasional revenues, goats and/or beehives.[6]

When the French explorer Victor Guérin first passed by Husan in June 1863, he noted that it was located on a mountain.[7] Later, in August the same year, he found that it contained only a small number of people, with houses grouped around a tower.[8]

An Ottoman village list from about 1870 found that Husan had a population of 115, in 28 houses, though the population count included men, only.[9]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Hausan as a small stone village on a flat ridge, with a steep valley to the north and a well to the south.[10]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Husan had an all-Muslim population of 396, 219 males and 177 females.[11] This had increased in the 1931 census to a total of 540, still all-Muslim, in 122 houses.[12]

In 1945 the population of Husan was 770, all Muslims,[13] who owned 7,252 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[14] Of this, 1,972 dunams were for cereals,[15] while 37 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[16]

After the Foundation of the State of Israel[edit]

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


Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Husan has been under Israeli occupation. The Government of Israel and representatives of the Palestinian Arab peoples reached an agreement in September of 1995 in what became known as the Oslo Accords, and which ultimate aim was to relegate administrative authority among the different sectors of the Palestinian Arab population, in collaboration with Israel.[17] However, Husan's close proximity to Jewish settlements in the region, and Jewish security concerns resulting therefrom, has resulted in Husan being designated as Area C, in which designation the Palestinian Authority has no say in security concerns relating to Husan and to its immediate environs. While the town's inhabitants are permitted to seek redress of court-related issues in places administered by the Palestinian Authority, any serious breaches in security are handled by the IDF.

The population in the 1967 census conducted by the Israeli authorities was 1,149.[18] In 1978, Husan had a total land area of 7,134 dunams. Since the establishment of Betar Illit and land expropriations by the Israeli Defense Forces, the town has been downsized to 1,425 dunams.[19]

On October 27, 1996, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy was beaten unconscious by an Israeli settler, after an incidence of alleged stone-throwing at passing vehicles. He died of his injuries the following day.[20] In the months of January and February 2017, regional highway 375 nearest Husan was again the scene of frequent stone-throwing at passing-by Israeli motorists with some injuries reported, which prompted the IDF to take measures to ensure the safety of all motorists.[21][22][23]


In 2009, there were five public schools in Husan, two for girls and three for boys, run by the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education.[3]


  1. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 295
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Archived 2010-12-10 at the Wayback Machine. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.117.
  3. ^ a b c Husan profile
  4. ^ Hussan Old Core The Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation
  5. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 913
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 115
  7. ^ Guérin, 1869, pt. 2, p. 385
  8. ^ Guérin, 1869, pt. 3, p. 383
  9. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 155
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 25
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Bethlehem, p.18
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 36
  13. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 24
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 57
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 102
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 152
  17. ^ 1995 Oslo Interim Agreement. Text of the Accord
  18. ^ Perlmann, Joel (November 2011 – February 2012). "The 1967 Census of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Digitized Version" (PDF). Levy Economics Institute. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Husan: A Palestinian Village Undergoes the Segregation Wall Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem
  20. ^ UN
  21. ^ Stoning Attacks Growing More Serious, The Jewish Press (30 January 2017)
  22. ^ Bakitzur - Mateh Yehuda Regional Council Weekly, Issue 387 (16 February 2017), p. 22 (Hebrew)
  23. ^ IDF Protects Israeli Drivers in West Bank, Jerusalem Online (19 March 2017)


External links[edit]