From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Qalqiliyah)
Jump to: navigation, search
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic قلقيلية
View of Qalqilya
View of Qalqilya
Official logo of Qalqilya
Municipal Seal of Qalqilya
Qalqilya is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Qalqilya within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°11′25.36″N 34°58′06.63″E / 32.1903778°N 34.9685083°E / 32.1903778; 34.9685083Coordinates: 32°11′25.36″N 34°58′06.63″E / 32.1903778°N 34.9685083°E / 32.1903778; 34.9685083
Palestine grid 146/177
Governorate Qalqilya
 • Type City
 • Head of Municipality Othman Dawoud
 • Jurisdiction 25,637 dunams (25.6 km2 or 9.9 sq mi)
Population (2007)[1]
 • Jurisdiction 41,739
Name meaning "a type of pomegranate", or "gurgling of water"[2]

Qalqilya (Arabic: قلقيليةQalqīlyaḧ); is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. Qalqilya serves as the administrative center of the Qalqilya Governorate. In the official 2007 census the city had a population of 41,739.[1] Qalqilya is surrounded by the Israeli West Bank barrier with a narrow gap in the east controlled by the Israeli military and a tunnel to Hableh.[3][4]


Martyrs' monument

The vicinity of Qalqilya has been populated since prehistoric times, as attested to by the discovery of prehistoric flint tools.[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1596, Qalqilya appeared in Ottoman tax registers (transliterated as Qalqili) as a village in the nahiya (subdistrict) of Bani Sa'b in the Liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 13 Muslim households and paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops, olives, and goats or beehives.[6]

In 1882, Qalqilya was described as "A large somewhat straggling village, with cisterns to the north and a pool on the south-west. The houses are badly built."[7] A municipal council to administer Qalqilya was established in 1909.[8]

British Mandate period[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Qalqilya had a population of 2,803 (2,794 Muslims and 9 Christians),[9] increasing in the 1931 census to 3,867 (3,855 Muslims and 12 Christians), in a total of 796 houses.[10]

In 1945 the population of Qalqilya was 5,850, all Arabs, who owned 27,915 dunams of land according to an official land and population survey.[11] Of this, 3701 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 3,232 were plantations and irrigable land, 16,197 used for cereals,[12] while 273 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[13]

Jordanian rule[edit]

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Qalqilya came under Jordanian rule. During the war, many inhabitants from nearby and currently depopulated villages, including Kafr Saba, Abu Kishk, Miska, Biyar 'Adas and Shaykh Muwannis fled to Qalqilya as refugees.[14]

On the night of 10 October 1956 the Israeli army launched a raid against Qalqilya police station. The attack was ordered by Moshe Dayan and involved several thousand soldiers. During the fighting a paratroop company was surrounded by Jordanian troops and the survivors only escaped under close air-cover from four Israeli Air Force aircraft. Eighteen Israelis and between 70 and 90 Jordanians were killed in the operation.[15]

Contemporary period[edit]

Qalqilya was occupied by Israeli forces during the Six-Day War in 1967. After the conquest of Qalqilya in 1967, dozens of its inhabitants were evicted by Israel to Jordan, and at least 850 buildings were razed.[16] In his memoirs, Moshe Dayan described the destruction as a "punishment" that was designed to chase the inhabitants away.[17] The villagers were eventually allowed to return and the reconstruction of damaged houses was financed by the military authorities.[18] In September 1967, a census found 8,922 persons, of whom 1,837 were originally from Israeli territory.[19]

As part of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), control of Qalqilya was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on 17 December 1995.[20]

In 2003, the Israeli West Bank barrier was built, encircling the town and separating it from agricultural lands on the other side of the wall.[21]


Qalqilya is located in the northwestern West Bank, straddling the border with Israel. Is is situated 16 kilometers southwest of the Palestinian city of Tulkarm, and the nearest localities include the Arab-Israeli city of Tira and the Palestinian hamlet of 'Arab al-Ramadin al-Shamali to the northeast, the Palestinian village of Nabi Ilyas to the east, the Palestinian hamlets 'Arab Abu Farda and 'Arab ar-Ramadin al-Janubi and the Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe to the southwest, and the Palestinian village Habla and Arab-Israeli town of Jaljuliya to the south.[8]

Qalqilya has an average elevation of 57 meters above sea level. The average annual rainfall 587.4 millimeters and the average annual temperature is 19 degrees Celsius.[8]


The 1997 census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) recorded Qalqilya's population to be 22,168. The majority of the inhabitants (69.8%) were Palestinian refugees or their descendants.[22] In the 2007 census, Qalqilya's population grew to 41,739 (50.9% male and (49.1% female).[1] The number of registered households was 7,866. Among the largest families in Qalqilya are the Nazzal, Shreim, Dawood, Zeid, Sabawi and Al Qar'an.[8]


Hamas won the 2006 municipal elections in Qalqiliya and one of its members, Wajih Qawas, became mayor, although he was incacrerated by Israel for much of his term. On 12 September 2009, the PNA dismissed Qawas for allowing Qalqiliya's debt to grow unchecked, failing to attract international funding for city projects and ignoring orders by the Palestinian government. Qawas, however, viewed his dismissal as a result of the ongoing feud between Hamas, which dominates the PNA in the Gaza Strip and Fatah, which dominates the PNA in the West Bank.[23] Human rights groups criticized Qawas's dismissal, condemning the intervention by the central Palestinian authorities in the affairs of an elected official.[23] During the 2012 municipal elections, Fatah member Othman Dawood was elected mayor.[24]


Route of separation fence around Qalqilya and Hableh

Between 1967 and 1995 almost 80 percent of Qalqilya's labor force worked for Israeli companies or industries in the construction and agriculture sectors. The remaining 20% engaged in trade and commerce, marketing across the Green Line. Many of the inhabitants are farmers.[citation needed]

Qalqilya Zoo, established in 1986, is the largest zoo in the West Bank and the city's major employer. It houses 170 animals and works closely with zoologists from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo and the Ramat Gan Safari.[25]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Population, Housing and Establishment Census 2007 : Census Final Results in The West Bank Summary (Population and Housing)." (PDF). Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 183
  3. ^ Dani Filc and Hadas Ziv (2006). "Exception as the Norm and the Fiction of Sovereignty: The Lack of the Right to Health Care in the Occupied Territories". In John Parry. Evil, Law and the State: Perspectives on State Power and Violence. Editions Rodopi B.V. p. 75. ISBN 9789042017481. 
  4. ^ United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Qalqiliya Closures map for December 2011
  5. ^ Environmental Profile for the West Bank: Tulkarm District. Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem. p. 76. 
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 140
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 165
  8. ^ a b c d "Qalqilya City Profile" (PDF). Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem. 2013. 
  9. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p. 27
  10. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 56
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 76
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 127
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 177
  14. ^ Saloul, Ihab (2012). Catastrophe and Exile in the Modern Palestinian Imagination: Telling Memories. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 178. 
  15. ^ Morris, 1993, pp. 397–399.
  16. ^ Masalha, 2007, 1967: Why Did the Palestinians Leave?
  17. ^ Morris 2001, p. 328
  18. ^ Elon 1983, pp. 231–232
  19. ^ Joel Perlmann. The 1967 Census of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Digitized Version. Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Levy Economics. Institute of Bard College. November 2011 – February 2012. [Digitized from: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 1967 Conducted in the Areas Administered by the IDF, Vols. 1–5 (1967–70), and Census of Population and Housing: East Jerusalem, Parts 1 and 2 (1968–70).] Vol. 1, Table 2.
  20. ^ Mattar, Phillip (2005). Encyclopedia of the Palestinians. Infobase Publishing. p. 250. 
  21. ^ The Wall (Qalqilya) 2003 Relief Web, Retrieved 10th Dec 2009
  22. ^ Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status at the Wayback Machine (archived February 7, 2012). 1997 Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). 1999.
  23. ^ a b Sharp, Heather (October 16, 2009). "Political struggle over West Bank town". 
  24. ^ Knell, Yolande (2015-01-20). "How Palestinian democracy has failed to flourish". BBC News. 
  25. ^ Splish, splash, new Kalkiya's hippo's takin' a bath, Haaretz


External links[edit]