Umm ar-Rihan

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Umm ar-Rehan
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicأم الريحان
 • LatinKhirbet Umm ar-Rehan[1] (official)
Umm ar-Rehan is located in the Palestinian territories
Umm ar-Rehan
Umm ar-Rehan
Location of Umm ar-Rehan within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°29′01″N 35°08′31″E / 32.48361°N 35.14194°E / 32.48361; 35.14194Coordinates: 32°29′01″N 35°08′31″E / 32.48361°N 35.14194°E / 32.48361; 35.14194
Palestine grid163/210
StateState of Palestine
 • TypeVillage council
 • Total370
Name meaning"Mother of Basil"[1]

Umm ar-Rehan (Arabic: أم الريحان‎, meaning "Mother of Basil"; also transliterated Umm Rihan or Um al-Rehan) is a Palestinian village of 370 inhabitants located high on the northwestern hills of the Jenin Governorate, 14 kilometers (8.7 mi) from Jenin.[3] It is one of a number of Palestinian villages that are now located within enclaves in the Seam Zone[3]

Umm al-Rehan is one of seven villages that form part of the Barta'a enclave,[4] which is named for the enclave's largest town: eastern Barta'a (pop. 3,500).[5]


Pottery remains from the Hellenistic and the Roman eras have been found here.[6] In Roman times, the town of Umm ar-Rehan covered an area of 36-40 hectares, consisting of approximately a hundred houses, a road system, and a Roman bathhouse.[7]

Archaeological artifacts dating back to Byzantine times have also been uncovered here.[6][8][9]

Ottoman era[edit]

In 1882, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the place as having "traces of ruins; drafted stones of good sized masonry [..] West of it in the valley is a ruined watchtower".[10]

British Mandate era[edit]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kh. Umm Al-Rihan had a population 26, all Muslims.[11]

The wood near the village is site of a memorial to early Palestinian militant leader Izz ad-Din al-Qassam of the Black Hand, killed in a gunfight with the British Palestine Police Force.[12]

In the 1945 statistics, the population of Umm ar-Rihan was counted with that of Ya'bad, in an official land and population survey.[13][14][15][16]

Under the 1947 United Nations partition plan for Palestine, Umm ar-Rehan was to form part of an Arab Palestinian state.

post 1948[edit]

After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Umm ar-Rehan fell under de facto Jordanian rule like other towns and villages in the West Bank, and after the 1967 Six-Day War, under Israeli occupation.

On August 27, 1998, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used bulldozers to uproot thousands of fruits trees on tens of dunums of land belonging to Umm ar-Rehan and az-Zawiya villages to prepare the ground for the construction of two new settlements.[17] On October 10, 2000, more land belonging to Umm ar-Rehan was bulldozed to expand the Shaked and Hinnanit settlements.[17][18]

In the months following the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Israeli checkpoints were erected on the eastern and southern roads to nearby Tura al-Gharbiya and Ya'bad, limiting access to the rest of the West Bank; the checkpoints were preserved as crossings in the Israeli West Bank barrier. Umm ar-Rehan's location in area east of the Green Line and west of the Israeli West Bank barrier is often referred to as the "Seam Zone".[3]


Umm ar-Rehan is under the Palestinian National Authority's civil administration as per the Oslo Accords. There is one primary school run by the PNA, but no secondary school, clinic or other medical facilities.[3] Um ar-Rehan residents can access the clinic in Barta'a Sharqiyya by way of an unpaved road.[5] The 4,700 people who live in the Barta'a area enclave depend on this government clinic which has a pharmacy and also offers counseling on health awareness, but lacks medical specialists, laboratory testing and family planning services.[5]

The main terminal to enter and exit the Barta'a Sharqiya-Um ar-Rehan enclave is Imreiha (Reikhan).[19] In November 2004, it was open between 6am and 10am to Palestinians with green permits only.[19] In August 2006, it was open between 7am and 9am between which times Israeli goods and produce enter the enclave area.[20] Produce from the village for export to Israel is sent out only with prior coordination with the Israeli authorities.[20]

On 30 April 2004, armed Israeli settlers entered the village and fired shots in the air before briefly taking over the primary school.[21] They threatened to "expel" the Palestinians, urging them to go to nearby Ya'bad on the other side of the separation barrier.[21] An official from the Education Ministry of the Palestinian National Authority and villager Faruat Zaid said they tried to contact the IDF about the raid, but there had been no response.[21] Both the IDF and police said they had been unaware of the incident.[21]


  1. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 150
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Archived 2010-12-10 at the Wayback Machine. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.104.
  3. ^ a b c d Local Aid Coordination Committee (30 April 2003). "The Impact of Israel's Separation Barrier on Affected West Bank Communities" (PDF). Humanitarian and Emergency Policy Group. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  4. ^ Operations Support Officer Programme West Bank (14 February 2005). "Case Study: UNRWA's access to Barta'a enclave disrupted by IDF restrictions" (PDF). United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  5. ^ a b c Amira Hass (3 February 2004). "One Nurse For 4,700 People and the Doctor Faces a Roadblock". Ha'aretz.
  6. ^ a b Zertal, 2016, pp. 164-168
  7. ^ Mark Alan Chancey and Adam Lowry Porter (December 2001). "The Archeology of Roman Palestine". 64, No. 4 (4). Near Eastern Archeology: 164–203. ISSN 1094-2076. JSTOR 3210829.
  8. ^ Y. Hirschfeld (1997). "Farms and Villages in Byzantine Palestine". Dumbarton Oaks Papers. Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 51: 33–71. doi:10.2307/1291761. ISSN 0070-7546. JSTOR 1291761.
  9. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 748
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 64
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Jenin, p. 30
  12. ^ Lydia Aisenberg (June 20, 2007). "Too many trees in the forest". The Jerusalem Post.
  13. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 17
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 55
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 100
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 150
  17. ^ a b "Palestine Facts". PASSIA. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  18. ^ "The Third Intermediary Report for the "Monitoring Israeli Colonizing Activities" Project". Applied Research Institute Jerusalem. 12 November 2000. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  19. ^ a b "OCHA Weekly Briefing Notes: Update for oPt" (PDF). Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 24–30 November 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  20. ^ a b "Protection of Civilians – Weekly Briefing Notes" (PDF). Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 23–29 August 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 2007-08-28.
  21. ^ a b c d Division for Palestinian Rights (April 2004). "Chronological Review of Events Relating to the Question of Palestine: Monthly media monitoring review". UNISPAL. Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-08-28.


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