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For other Palestinian villages and towns with a similar name, see Jaba, Jenin and Jaba', Jerusalem.
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic الجبعة
 • Also spelled Jaba'a (official)
Jab'aa (unofficial)
al-Jab'a is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of al-Jab'a within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°40′29″N 35°04′40″E / 31.67472°N 35.07778°E / 31.67472; 35.07778Coordinates: 31°40′29″N 35°04′40″E / 31.67472°N 35.07778°E / 31.67472; 35.07778
Palestine grid 157/120
Governorate Hebron
 • Type Local Development Committee
 • Head of Municipality No'man Hamdan
 • Jurisdiction 10,099 dunams (10.1 km2 or 3.9 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 896
Name meaning "Hill"[1]

Jab'a (Arabic: الجبعة‎‎) is a Palestinian village in the central West Bank, located 17 kilometers north of Hebron and 15 kilometers southwest of Bethlehem. Located three kilometers east of the Green Line, it is located in the Seam Zone, surrounded by the Israeli settlements in the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the Israeli West Bank barrier. Nearby Palestinian towns and villages include Surif adjacent to the Jaba'a, Wadi Fukin and Nahalin to the north. It is the northernmost locality in the Hebron Governorate. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Jab'a had a population of approximately 896 in 2007.[2] Jab'a has a total land area of 10,099 dunams, of which 1,002 dunams as built-up area.[3]


Jab'a dates back to the Canaanites. The village is mentioned in Eusebius' renowned work, Onomasticon, as Gabatha [Gava'ot] (Γαβαθα), believed by historical geographer Samuel Klein to be Jab'a, southeast of Bayt Nattif, and is said to be the burial-site of Habakuk the prophet, although elsewhere Eusebius purports that Habakuk was buried near a place called Ενκηλα (`Ain Qe'ilah), seven miles from Beit Jubrin, and which place is now called Khirbet Qila.[4] The village houses are small and consist of just one spacious room surrounded by a large area of farmland, on which almonds and olives grapes and are cultivated.[5] Byzantine ceramics have been found.[6]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1596, Jaba appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. It had a population of 3 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, olives, and goats or beehives.[7]

In 1863, the French explorer Victor Guérin found Jab'a reduced to a hundred souls,[8] while the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Jeba in 1883 as "a small village standing upon a high, narrow ridge, with a steep valley to the north. The houses are of stone. To the east are caves in the face of the rock."[9]

British Mandate of Palestine[edit]

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Al Jaba'a had a population of 122 inhabitants, all Muslims.[10] while at the time of the 1931 census, El Jab'a had a population of 176, still Muslim, living in a total of 36 houses.[11]

In 1945 the population of El Jab'a was 210, all Arabs, who owned 5,593 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[12] 102 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 1,880 used for cereals,[13] while 12 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[14]


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

1967 and aftermath[edit]

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Jab'a has been under Israeli occupation.

On 25 February 2015, in an apparent price tag attack, a mosque in the village was torched. Israeli police were investigating it. The attack coincided with the anniversary of the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre that took place in Hebron 21 years ago.[15] The fire was discovered by worshipers who quickly extinguished it. The carpets and walls were damaged but no one was reported to have been injured. Graffiti in Hebrew called for "revenge attacks" against Arabs and Muslims, according to eyewitnesses.[16]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 296
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.118.
  3. ^ Al Jaba'a Border crossing under construction Land Research Center. 26 December 2005.
  4. ^ Samuel Klein, Eretz Yehudah (the Land of Judah), Tel-Aviv 1939, p. 198.
  5. ^ Jab'aa Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation.
  6. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 921
  7. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 112
  8. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 382
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 25
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Hebron, p. 10
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 32
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 50
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 93
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 143
  15. ^ "Palestinian mosque torched in apparent 'price tag' attack". Al Jazeera America. 25 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "Mosque torched near Bethlehem in apparent hate crime". The Times of Israel. 25 February 2015. 


External links[edit]