From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic ياسوف
 • Also spelled Yassuf (official)
Yasouf (unofficial)
כפר יאסוף.jpg
Yasuf is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Yasuf within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 32°06′23″N 35°14′08″E / 32.10639°N 35.23556°E / 32.10639; 35.23556Coordinates: 32°06′23″N 35°14′08″E / 32.10639°N 35.23556°E / 32.10639; 35.23556
Palestine grid 172/168
Governorate Salfit
 • Type Village council
 • Jurisdiction 8,550 dunams (8.6 km2 or 3.3 sq mi)
Population (2007)
 • Jurisdiction 1,621
Name meaning from personal name[1]

Yasuf (Arabic: ياسوف‎‎) is a Palestinian town located in the Salfit Governorate in the northern West Bank, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) northeast of Salfit, 37 kilometres (23 mi) southwest of Nablus and adjacent to the Israeli settlement of Kfar Tapuach. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, it had a population of 1,621 in 2007.[2] About 87% of the population relies on agriculture for income, while the remainder work in the public sector.[3]


NE and SW of the village is a large cemetery, with tombs carved into rock, some with arcosolia.[4]

Potsherds from the IA II (8th and 7th centuries B.C.E.), have been found, and also from the Hellenistic/Roman, Crusader/Ayyubid, Mamluk and early Qttoman era.[5] Byzantine ceramics have also been found.[4]


At the time of Roman rule over Palestine (c. 63 BCE-330 CE), the village was known as Yaashuv mentioned in the Samaria Ostraca,[6] and it was one of three important markets for fruits, grains and legumes in the northern Judean mountains, southern Samaria, and the region of Lod.[7]

During the Crusader period, Diya' al-Din (1173–1245) writes that there was a rural mosque in Yasuf, indicating that there was a significant Muslim population in the village at the time,[8] while Yakut noted that Yasuf was a "village of Nabulus in the Filastin province. It is celebrated for its abundance of pomegranates."[9]

The village is mentioned by name in the Samaritan Book of Joshua, and in the 'Samaritan Chronicle', its ancient name is recorded as Jusepheh.[10][11]

Ottoman era[edit]

The village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 it appeared in the tax registers under the name of Yasuf ar-Rumman. It was in the Nahiya of Jabal Qubal of the Liwa of Nablus, with a population of 41 households and 8 bachelors, all Muslim. The villagers paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops, olives, goats and beehives.[12]

French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in 1870, and he found it to have about 350 inhabitants. The village appeared ancient, with old masonry reused in houses and walls. The village had an excellent supply of water which was collected in a pool, near the steps down was a beautifully carved niche with a shell motif. This pool provided water for gardens of olive and pomegranate trees.[13] In the 1882 Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP), Yasuf is described as, "an ancient village," located in a valley, with a Roman road passing nearby.[10][14] Inside the village is "a good spring ... and olives. A beautiful garden of pomegranates exists north of the spring. The water comes out of a cleft in a cliff, near which is an ancient well with steps. There is a sacred place, with a large oak (Sindian), and a ruined shrine, south-west of the village, near 'Ain er Raja. There are drafted stones in many houses, and remains of well-built enclosures, now ruined. Many well-cut rock tombs are also found on either side."[10]

Also in the village were, "rock-cut tombs with kokim [...]". A subterranean channel led out from the spring that contained small fish and there were pillar shafts there too. To the west of the village under an oak tree lay the ruins of a maqam for Sheikh Abu Hasan among the remains of other old drystone enclosures. To the north of the maqam was a rock-cut tomb, "with three loculi under arcosolia." Tombs also lay to the northeast and southwest with well-cut arched doors. In the valley to the northwest was a modern vault with a mihrab.[14]

British Mandate period[edit]

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Yasuf had a population of 172, all Muslims,[15] while in the 1931 census it had 61 occupied houses and a population of 257, still all Muslim.[16]

In 1945 the population was 360, all Muslims,[17] while the total land area was 6,068 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[18] Of this, 928 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 1,991 for cereals,[19] while 35 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[20]


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


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Yasuf has been under Israeli occupation.

On 11 December 2009, Yasuf's Al-Kabir Mosque was vandalized and burnt.[21] Israeli police suspect the action was undertaken by Israeli settlers.[22] Prayer carpets and holy books were destroyed in the fire, and the arsonists left behind graffiti reading, "We will burn all of you," and, "Prepare to pay the price."[22] A few months previous radical settlers declared that Palestinians in the West Bank would pay a "price tag" every time Israeli forces dismantled illegal Israeli settlement structures.[22] Following the incident, Israeli forces opened fire on 100 Palestinian residents of the village who were protesting the arson.[22]

In January 2010, the extremist settler Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira was arrested by the Israeli police for alleged involvement in the torching of the mosque. He denied any involvement, and was later released due to lack of evidence.[23][24]

In April 2010, the settlers spray-painted elsewhere in the village the words "Thank you God, for not making me a Gentile".[25]

Israeli settler attacks[edit]

In October 6, 2014 Israeli settlers from Taffouh settlement ruined about 100 olive trees in Yasuf and 20 others in Burin, said Ghassan Daghlas, who is in charge of monitoring illegal settlers' activities in the area.[26]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 250
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 112.
  3. ^ Yassuf Village: General Information Land Research Center. 18 September 2008.
  4. ^ a b Dauphin, 1998, p. 810
  5. ^ Finkelstein, 1997, p. 618
  6. ^ ^ Bustanai Oded, History of the jewish people in the time of first temple - Volume 2, The Open University, p.' 262 (According to Yohanan Aharoni).
  7. ^ Safrai, 1994, p. 66.
  8. ^ Ellenblum, 2003, p. 244
  9. ^ le Strange, 1890, p. 552
  10. ^ a b c Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 287
  11. ^ Conder, 1876, pp. 190-196
  12. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 134.
  13. ^ Guérin, 1875, pp. 162-3
  14. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 378.
  15. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Nablus, p. 25
  16. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 66
  17. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 19
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 61
  19. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 108
  20. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 158
  21. ^ West Bank settlers set fire to mosque, Maan News, 11 December 2009.
  22. ^ a b c d Mark Weiss (December 12, 2009). "Mosque fire leads to West Bank clash". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  23. ^ "Rabbi arrested, suspected in West Bank mosque arson", BBC News, 27 January 2010
  24. ^ 'IDF to blame for price-tag atmosphere' Jerusalem Post
  25. ^ "Palestinian mosque torched in suspected 'price tag' operation by settlers." by Avi Issacharoff. Haaretz.
  26. ^ Extremist Settlers Ruin Olive Groves in Nablus Village - WAFA


External links[edit]