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Nablus
Nablus
(Arabic: نابلس‎ Nāblus [næːblʊs] ( listen), Hebrew: שכם‬ Šəḵem, Biblical Shechem
Shechem
ISO 259-3 Škem, Greek: Νεάπολις Νeapolis) is a city in the northern West Bank, approximately 49 kilometers (30 mi) north of Jerusalem,[2] (approximately 63 kilometers (39 mi) by road), with a population of 126,132.[3] Located between Mount Ebal
Mount Ebal
and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center, containing the An-Najah National University, one of the largest Palestinian institutions of higher learning, and the Palestinian stock-exchange.[4] Today, the population is predominantly Muslim, with small Christian and Samaritan
Samaritan
minorities.

Contents

1 Historical outline

1.1 Roman period 1.2 Byzantine period 1.3 Early Muslim
Muslim
period 1.4 Crusader period 1.5 Ayyubid
Ayyubid
and Mamluk
Mamluk
periods 1.6 Ottoman period 1.7 British Mandate period 1.8 Jordanian period 1.9 Israeli period 1.10 Palestinian authonomy

2 Attractions 3 History

3.1 Classical antiquity 3.2 Early Islamic era 3.3 Crusader period 3.4 Ayyubid
Ayyubid
and Mamluk
Mamluk
rule 3.5 Ottoman era 3.6 Egyptian rule and Ottoman revival 3.7 World War I
World War I
and British Mandate 3.8 Jordanian period 3.9 Israeli period 3.10 Palestinian control

4 Geography

4.1 Old City 4.2 Climate

5 Demographics

5.1 Religion

6 Economy

6.1 Historic 6.2 Modern era

7 Education 8 Health care 9 Culture and arts

9.1 Traditional costume 9.2 Cuisine 9.3 Cultural centers 9.4 Soap production

10 Local government

10.1 Mayors

11 Municipal services

11.1 Fire department

12 Transportation 13 Sports 14 International relations

14.1 Twin towns and sister cities

15 See also 16 References

16.1 Bibliography

17 External links

Historical outline Roman period The city was named by the Roman Emperor Vespasian
Vespasian
in 72 CE as Flavia Neapolis.[citation needed] Byzantine period In the 5th and 6th centuries, conflict between the city's Christian and Samaritan
Samaritan
inhabitants climaxed in a series of Samaritan
Samaritan
revolts against Byzantine rule, before their violent quelling in 529 CE drastically dwindled that community's numbers in the city. Early Muslim
Muslim
period In 636, Neapolis, along with most of Palestine, came under the rule of the Islamic Arab
Arab
Caliphate of Umar
Umar
ibn al-Khattab; its name Arabicized to Nablus. Crusader period In 1099, the Crusaders took control of the city for less than a century, leaving its mixed Muslim, Christian and Samaritan
Samaritan
population relatively undisturbed. Ayyubid
Ayyubid
and Mamluk
Mamluk
periods After Saladin's Ayyubid
Ayyubid
forces took control of the interior of Palestine in 1187, Islamic rule was reestablished, and continued under the Mamluk
Mamluk
and Ottoman empires to follow. Ottoman period Following its incorporation into the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1517, Nablus was designated capital of the Jabal Nablus
Nablus
("Mount Nablus") district. In 1657, after a series of upheavals, a number of Arab
Arab
clans from the northern and eastern Levant
Levant
were dispatched to the city to reassert Ottoman authority, and loyalty from among these clans staved off challenges to the empire's authority by rival regional leaders, like Zahir al- Umar
Umar
in the 18th century, and Muhammad Ali—who briefly ruled Nablus—in the 19th century. When Ottoman rule was firmly reestablished in 1841, Nablus
Nablus
prospered as a center of trade. British Mandate period After the city was captured by British forces during World War I, Nablus
Nablus
was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine
British Mandate of Palestine
in 1922. Jordanian period During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the city was captured and occupied by Transjordan, which subsequently annexed it unilaterally. Israeli period Jordanian occupation held until Israeli occupation took its place in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War. Palestinian authonomy Since 1995, the city has been governed by the Palestinian National Authority. Attractions In the Old City, there are a number of sites of archaeological significance, spanning the 1st to 15th centuries. Culturally, the city is known for its kanafeh, a popular sweet throughout the Middle East, and its soap industry. History Classical antiquity Further information: Samaritan
Samaritan
Revolts and Samaria Flavia Neapolis
Flavia Neapolis
("new city of the emperor Flavius") was named in 72 CE by the Roman emperor Vespasian
Vespasian
and applied to an older Samaritan village, variously called Mabartha ("the passage")[5] or Mamorpha.[6] Located between Mount Ebal
Mount Ebal
and Mount Gerizim, the new city lay 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) west of the Biblical city of Shechem
Shechem
which was destroyed by the Romans that same year during the First Jewish-Roman War.[7][8] Holy places at the site of the city's founding include Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's Tomb
and Jacob's Well. Due to the city's strategic geographic position and the abundance of water from nearby springs, Neapolis prospered, accumulating extensive territory, including the former Judean toparchy of Acraba.[7] Insofar as the hilly topography of the site would allow, the city was built on a Roman grid plan and settled with veterans who fought in the victorious legions and other foreign colonists.[5] In the 2nd century CE, Emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
built a grand theater in Neapolis that could seat up to 7,000 people.[9] Coins found in Nablus
Nablus
dating to this period depict Roman military emblems and gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon such as Zeus, Artemis, Serapis, and Asklepios.[5] Neapolis was entirely pagan at this time.[5] Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr
who was born in the city c. 100 CE, came into contact with Platonism, but not with Christians there.[5] The city flourished until the civil war between Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
and Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger
in 198–9 CE. Having sided with Niger, who was defeated, the city was temporarily stripped of its legal privileges by Severus, who designated these to Sebastia instead.[5] In 244 CE, Philip the Arab
Arab
transformed Flavius Neapolis into a Roman colony named Julia Neapolis. It retained this status until the rule of Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
in 251 CE. The Encyclopaedia Judaica speculates that Christianity
Christianity
was dominant in the 2nd or 3rd century, with some sources positing a later date of 480 CE.[10] It is known for certain that a bishop from Nablus
Nablus
participated in the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE.[11] The presence of Samaritans
Samaritans
in the city is attested to in literary and epigraphic evidence dating to the 4th century CE.[11] As yet, there is no evidence attesting to a Jewish presence in ancient Neapolis.[11]

Ruins from antiquity (foreground) in a residential area in Nablus, 2008

Conflict among the Christian population of Neapolis emerged in 451. By this time, Neapolis was within the Palaestina Prima
Palaestina Prima
province under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. The tension was a result of Monophysite Christian attempts to prevent the return of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Juvenal, to his episcopal see.[7] However, the conflict did not grow into civil strife. As tensions among the Christians of Neapolis decreased, tensions between the Christian community and the Samaritans
Samaritans
grew dramatically. In 484, the city became the site of a deadly encounter between the two groups, provoked by rumors that the Christians intended to transfer the remains of Aaron's sons and grandsons Eleazar, Ithamar and Phinehas. Samaritans
Samaritans
reacted by entering the cathedral of Neapolis, killing the Christians inside and severing the fingers of the bishop Terebinthus. Terebinthus then fled to Constantinople, requesting an army garrison to prevent further attacks. As a result of the revolt, the Byzantine emperor Zeno erected a church dedicated to Mary on Mount Gerizim. He also forbade the Samaritans
Samaritans
to travel to the mountain to celebrate their religious ceremonies, and confiscated their synagogue there. These actions by the emperor fueled Samaritan
Samaritan
anger towards the Christians further.[7] Thus, the Samaritans
Samaritans
rebelled again under the rule of emperor Anastasius I, reoccupying Mount Gerizim, which was subsequently reconquered by the Byzantine governor of Edessa, Procopius. A third Samartian revolt which took place under the leadership of Julianus ben Sabar in 529 was perhaps the most violent. Neapolis' bishop Ammonas was murdered and the city's priests were hacked into pieces and then burned together with the relics of saints. The forces of Emperor Justinian I
Justinian I
were sent in to quell the revolt, which ended with the slaughter of the majority of the Samaritan
Samaritan
population in the city.[7] Early Islamic era

Minaret
Minaret
and entrance of 10th century Great Mosque
Mosque
of Nablus, 1908

Neapolis, along with most of Palestine, was conquered by the Muslims under Khalid ibn al-Walid, a general of the Rashidun
Rashidun
army of Umar
Umar
ibn al-Khattab, in 636 after the Battle of Yarmouk.[7][8] The city's name was retained in its Arabicized form, Nabulus. The town prevailed as an important trade center during the centuries of Islamic Arab
Arab
rule under the Umayyad, Abbasid and Fatimid
Fatimid
dynasties. Under Muslim
Muslim
rule, Nablus contained a diverse population of Arabs and Persians, Muslims, Samaritans, Christians and Jews.[7] In the 10th century, the Arab geographer al-Muqaddasi, described it as abundant of olive trees, with a large marketplace, a finely paved Great Mosque, houses built of stone, a stream running through the center of the city, and notable mills.[12] He also noted that it was nicknamed "Little Damascus."[9][12] At the time, the linen produced in Nablus
Nablus
was well known throughout the Old World.[13] Crusader period See also: Vassals of the Kingdom of Jerusalem The city was captured by Crusaders in 1099, under the command of Prince Tancred, and renamed Naples.[7] Though the Crusaders extorted many supplies from the population for their troops who were en route to Jerusalem, they did not sack the city, presumably because of the large Christian population there.[14] Nablus
Nablus
became part of the royal domain of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Muslim, Eastern Orthodox Christian, and Samaritan
Samaritan
populations remained in the city, and were joined by some Crusaders who settled therein to take advantage of the city's abundant resources. In 1120, the Crusaders convened the Council of Nablus
Nablus
out of which was issued the first written laws for the kingdom.[7] They converted the Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue in Nablus
Nablus
into a church.[14] The Samaritan
Samaritan
community built a new synagogue in the 1130s.[15] In 1137, Arab
Arab
and Turkish troops stationed in Damascus raided Nablus, killing many Christians and burning down the city's churches. However, they were unsuccessful in retaking the city.[7] Queen Melisende of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
resided in Nablus
Nablus
from 1150 to 1161, after she was granted control over the city in order to resolve a dispute with her son Baldwin III. Crusaders began building Christian institutions in Nablus, including a church dedicated to the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus, and in 1170 they erected a hospice for pilgrims.[7] Ayyubid
Ayyubid
and Mamluk
Mamluk
rule

Interior view of the An-Nasr Mosque, converted from a Crusader church to a mosque in the 13th century

Crusader rule came to an end in 1187, when the Ayyubids led by Saladin captured the city. According to a liturgical manuscript in Syriac, Latin Christians fled Nablus, but the original Eastern Orthodox Christian inhabitants remained.[citation needed] Syrian geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229), wrote that Ayyubid
Ayyubid
Nablus
Nablus
was a "celebrated city in Filastin (Palestine)... having wide lands and a fine district." He also mentions the large Samaritan
Samaritan
population in the city.[16] After its recapture by the Muslims, the Great Mosque
Mosque
of Nablus, which had become a church under Crusader rule, was restored as a mosque by the Ayyubids, who also built a mausoleum in the old city.[10] In October 1242, Nablus
Nablus
was raided by the Knights Templar. This was the conclusion of the 1242 campaign season in which the Templars had joined forces with the Ayyubid
Ayyubid
emir of Kerak, An-Nasir Dawud, against the Mamluks. The Templars raided Nablus
Nablus
in revenge for a preceding massacre of Christians by their erstwhile ally An-Nasir Dawud. The attack is reported as a particularly bloody affair lasting for three days, during which the Mosque
Mosque
was burned and many residents of the city, Christians alongside Muslims, were killed or sold in the slave markets of Acre. The successful raid was widely publicized by the Templars in Europe; it is thought to be depicted in a late 13th-century fresco in the Templar church of San Bevignate, Perugia.[17] In 1244, the Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue, built in 362 by the high priest Akbon and converted into a church by the Crusaders, was converted into al-Khadra Mosque. Two other Crusader churches became the An-Nasr Mosque
Mosque
and al-Masakim Mosque
Mosque
during that century.[7][14] The Mamluk
Mamluk
dynasty gained control of Nablus
Nablus
in 1260 and during their reign, they built numerous mosques and schools.[8] Under Mamluk
Mamluk
rule, Nablus
Nablus
possessed running water, many Turkish bathes and exported olive oil and soap to Egypt, Syria, the Hejaz, several Mediterranean islands, and the Arabian Desert. The city's olive oil was also used in the Umayyad
Umayyad
Mosque
Mosque
in Damascus. Ibn Battuta, the Arab
Arab
explorer, visited Nablus
Nablus
in 1355, and described it as a city "full of trees and streams and full of olives." He noted that the city grew and exported carob jam to Cairo
Cairo
and Damascus.[16] Ottoman era

Jacob's Well, 1912

Nablus
Nablus
came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in 1517, along with the whole of Palestine. The Ottomans divided Palestine into six sanjaqs ("districts"): Safad, Jenin, Jerusalem, Gaza, Ajlun
Ajlun
and Nablus, all of which were part of Ottoman Syria. These five sanjaqs were subdistricts of the Vilayet of Damascus. Sanjaq Nablus
Nablus
was further subdivided into five nahiya (subdistricts), in addition to the city itself. The Ottomans did not attempt to restructure the political configuration of the region on the local level such that the borders of the nahiya were drawn to coincide with the historic strongholds of certain families. Nablus
Nablus
was only one among a number of local centers of power within Jabal Nablus, and its relations with the surrounding villages, such as Beita and Aqraba, were partially mediated by the rural-based chiefs of the nahiya.[18] During the 16th century, the population was predominantly Muslim, with Jewish, Samaritan
Samaritan
and Christian minorities.[7][19][20] After decades of upheavals and rebellions mounted by Arab
Arab
tribes in the Middle East, the Ottomans attempted to reassert centralized control over the Arab
Arab
vilayets. In 1657, they sent an expeditionary force led mostly by Arab
Arab
sipahi officers from central Syria to reassert Ottoman authority in Nablus
Nablus
and its hinterland, as part of a broader attempt to established centralized rule throughout the empire at that time. In return for their services, the officers were granted agricultural lands around the villages of Jabal Nablus. The Ottomans, fearing that the new Arab
Arab
land holders would establish independent bases of power, dispersed the land plots to separate and distant locations within Jabal Nablus
Nablus
to avoid creating contiguous territory controlled by individual clans. Contrary to its centralization purpose, the 1657 campaign allowed the Arab
Arab
sipahi officers to establish their own increasingly autonomous foothold in Nablus. The officers raised their families there and intermarried with the local notables of the area, namely the ulama and merchant families. Without abandoning their nominal military service, they acquired diverse properties to consolidate their presence and income such as soap and pottery factories, bathhouses, agricultural lands, grain mills and, olive and sesame oil presses.[18] The most influential military family were the Nimrs, who were originally local governors of Homs
Homs
and Hama's rural subdistricts. Other officer families included the Akhrami, Asqalan, Bayram, Jawhari, Khammash, Mir'i, Shafi, Sultan and Tamimi families, some of which remained in active service, while some left service for other pursuits. In the years following the 1657 campaign, two other families migrated to Nablus: the Jarrars from Balqa and the Tuqans from northern Syria or Transjordan. The Jarrars came to dominate the hinterland of Nablus, while the Tuqans and Nimrs competed for influence in the town. The former held the post of mutasallim (tax collector, strongman) of Nablus
Nablus
longer, though non-consecutively, than any other family. The three families maintained their power until the mid-19th century.[18]

Nablus, by W. C. P. Medlycott, in H. B. Tristram, 1865[21]

In the mid-18th century, Zahir al-Umar, the autonomous Arab
Arab
ruler of the Galilee
Galilee
became a dominant figure in Palestine. In order to build up his army, he strove to gain a monopoly over the cotton and olive oil trade of the southern Levant, including Jabal Nablus, which was a major producer of both crops. In 1771, during the Egyptian Mamluk invasion of Syria, Zahir aligned himself with the Mamluks and besieged Nablus, but did not succeed in taking the city. In 1773, he tried again without success. Nevertheless, from a political perspective, the sieges led to a decline in the importance of the city in favor of Acre. Zahir's successor, Jezzar Pasha, maintained Acre's dominance over Nablus. After his reign ended in 1804, Nablus
Nablus
regained its autonomy, and the Tuqans, who represented a principal opposing force, rose to power.[22] Egyptian rule and Ottoman revival

Nablus
Nablus
in 1898

In 1831-32 Khedivate Egypt, then led by Muhammad Ali, conquered Palestine from the Ottomans. A policy of conscription and new taxation was instituted which led to a revolt organized by the a'ayan (notables) of Nablus, Hebron
Hebron
and the Jerusalem- Jaffa
Jaffa
area. In May 1834, Qasim al-Ahmad—the chief of the Jamma'in
Jamma'in
nahiya—rallied the rural sheikhs and fellahin (peasants) of Jabal Nablus
Nablus
and launched a revolt against Governor Ibrahim Pasha, in protest at conscription orders, among other new policies. The leaders of Nablus
Nablus
and its hinterland sent thousands of rebels to attack Jerusalem, the center of government authority in Palestine, aided by the Abu Ghosh
Abu Ghosh
clan, and they conquered the city on 31 May. However, they were later defeated by Ibrahim Pasha's forces the next month. Ibrahim then forced the heads of the Jabal Nablus
Nablus
clans to leave for nearby villages. By the end of August, the countrywide revolt had been suppressed and Qasim was executed.[22] Egyptian rule in Palestine resulted in the destruction of Acre and thus, the political importance of Nablus
Nablus
was further elevated. The Ottomans wrested back control of Palestine from Egypt
Egypt
in 1840–41. However, the Arraba-based Abd al-Hadi clan which rose to prominence under Egyptian rule for supporting Ibrahim Pasha, continued its political dominance in Jabal Nablus.[22] Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Nablus
Nablus
was the principal trade and manufacturing center in Ottoman Syria. Its economic activity and regional leadership position surpassed that of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and the coastal cities of Jaffa
Jaffa
and Acre. Olive oil
Olive oil
was the primary product of Nablus
Nablus
and fueled other related industries such as soap-making and basket weaving.[23] It was also the largest producer of cotton in the Levant, topping the production of northern cities such as Damascus.[24] Jabal Nablus
Nablus
enjoyed a greater degree of autonomy than other sanjaqs under Ottoman control, probably because the city was the capital of a hilly region, in which there were no "foreigners" who held any military or bureaucratic posts. Thus, Nablus
Nablus
remained outside the direct "supervision" of the Ottoman government, according to historian Beshara Doumani.[23] World War I
World War I
and British Mandate

Nablus
Nablus
in 1918

Between 19 September and 25 September 1918, in the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
of the First World War the Battle of Nablus
Nablus
took place, together with the Battle of Sharon
Battle of Sharon
during the set piece Battle of Megiddo. Fighting took place in the Judean Hills
Judean Hills
where the British Empire's XX Corps and airforce attacked the Ottoman Empire's Yildirim Army Group's Seventh Army which held a defensive position in front of Nablus, and which the Eighth Army had attempted to retreat to, in vain.[25] The 1927 Jericho earthquake
1927 Jericho earthquake
destroyed many of the Nablus' historic buildings, including the An-Nasr Mosque.[26] Though they were subsequently rebuilt by Haj Amin al-Husayni's Supreme Muslim
Muslim
Council in the mid-1930s, their previous "picturesque" character was lost. During British rule, Nablus
Nablus
emerged as a site of local resistance and the Old City quarter of Qaryun was demolished by the British during the 1936–1939 Arab
Arab
revolt in Palestine.[27] Jewish immigration did not significantly impact the demographic composition of Nablus, and it was slated for inclusion in the Arab
Arab
state envisioned by the United Nations General Assembly's 1947 partition plan for Palestine.[28] Jordanian period During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Nablus
Nablus
came under Jordanian control. Thousands of Palestinian refugees
Palestinian refugees
fleeing from areas captured by Israel
Israel
arrived in Nablus, settling in refugee camps in and around the city. Its population doubled and the influx of refugees put a heavy strain on the city's resources. Three such camps still located within the city limits today are Ein Beit al-Ma', Balata
Balata
and Askar. During the Jordanian period, the adjacent villages of Rafidia, Balata al-Balad, al-Juneid and Askar were annexed to the Nablus municipality.[29] Israeli period The 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
ended in the Israeli occupation of Nablus. Many Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements
were built around Nablus
Nablus
during the 1980s and early 1990s. The restrictions placed on Nablus
Nablus
during the First Intifada were met by a back-to-the-land movement to secure self-sufficiency, and had a notable outcome in boosting local agricultural production.[30] Palestinian control

View of Huwwara checkpoint
Huwwara checkpoint
with Palestinians waiting to travel south, 2006

Jurisdiction over the city was handed over to the Palestinian National Authority on December 12, 1995, as a result of the Oslo Accords Interim Agreement on the West Bank.[31] Nablus
Nablus
is surrounded by Israeli settlements
Israeli settlements
and was site of regular clashes with the IDF during the First Intifada
First Intifada
when the local prison was known for torture.[32] In the 1990s, Nablus
Nablus
was a hub of Palestinian nationalist activity in the West Bank
West Bank
and when the Second Intifada
Second Intifada
began, arsonists of Jewish shrines in Nablus
Nablus
were applauded.[33] After the Danish cartoons
Danish cartoons
was published in 2006, militias kidnapped two foreigners and threatened to kidnap more as a protest. In 2008, Noa Meir, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said Nablus
Nablus
remains "capital of terror" of the West Bank.[34] From the start of the Second Intifada, Nablus
Nablus
became a flash-point of clashes between the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinians. The city has a tradition of political activism, as evinced by its nickname, jabal al-nar (Fire Mountain),[30] and, located between two mountains, was closed off at both ends of the valley by Israeli checkpoints. For several years, movements in and out of the city were highly restricted.[4] The city and the refugee camps of Balata
Balata
and Askar constituted the center of "knowhow" for the production and operation of the rockets in the West Bank.[35] According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 522 residents of Nablus
Nablus
and surrounding refugee camps, including civilians, were killed and 3,104 injured during IDF military operations from 2000 to 2005.[10] In April 2002, following the Passover massacre—an attack by Palestinian militants that killed 30 Israeli civilians attending a seder dinner at the Park Hotel in Netanya— Israel
Israel
launched Operation Defensive Shield, a major military operation targeting in particular Nablus
Nablus
and Jenin. At least 80 Palestinians were killed in Nablus
Nablus
during the operation and several houses were destroyed or severely damaged.[36] The operation also resulted in severe damage to the historic core of the city, with 64 heritage buildings being heavily damaged or destroyed.[32] IDF forces reentered Nablus
Nablus
during Operation Determined Path in June 2002, remaining inside the city until the end of September. Over those three months, there had been more than 70 days of full 24-hour curfews.[36] According to Gush Shalom, IDF bulldozers damaged the al-Khadra Mosque, the Great Mosque, the al-Satoon Mosque and the Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
in 2002. Some 60 houses were destroyed, and parts of the stone-paving in the old city were damaged. The al-Shifa hammam was hit by three rockets from Apache helicopters. The eastern entrance of the Khan al-Wikala (old market) and three soap factories were destroyed in F-16 bombings. The cost of the damage was estimated at $80 million US.[37] On August 2016, the Old city of Nablus
Nablus
became a site of fierce clashes between a militant group vs Palestinian police. On August 18, two Palestinian Police servicemen were killed in the city.[38] Shortly the raid of Police on the suspected areas in the Old city deteriorated into a gun battle, in which 3 armed militia men were killed, including one killed by beating following his arrest.[38] The person beaten to death was the suspected “mastermind” behind the August 18 shooting - Ahmed Izz Halaweh, a senior member of the armed wing of the Fatah movement the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.[38] His death was branded by the UN and Palestinian factions as an part of “extrajudicial executions.”[38] A widespread manhunt for multiple gunmen was initiated by the police as a result, concluding with the arrest of one suspect Salah al-Kurdi on August 25.[38] Geography

Section of topographical map of Nablus
Nablus
area

Nablus
Nablus
lies in a strategic position at a junction between two ancient commercial roads; one linking the Sharon coastal plain to the Jordan valley, the other linking Nablus
Nablus
to the Galilee
Galilee
in the north, and the biblical Judea
Judea
to the south through the mountains.[39] The city stands at an elevation of around 550 meters (1,800 ft) above sea level,[40] in a narrow valley running roughly east-west between two mountains: Mount Ebal, the northern mountain, is the taller peak at 940 meters (3,080 ft), while Mount Gerizim, the southern mountain, is 881 meters (2,890 ft) high. Nablus
Nablus
is located 42 kilometers (26 mi) east of Tel Aviv, Israel, 110 kilometers (68 mi) west of Amman, Jordan
Jordan
and 63 kilometers (39 mi) north of Jerusalem.[40] Nearby cities and towns include Huwara
Huwara
and Aqraba
Aqraba
to the south, Beit Furik
Beit Furik
to the southeast, Tammun
Tammun
to the northeast, Asira ash-Shamaliya to the north and Kafr Qaddum
Kafr Qaddum
and Tell to the west.[41] Old City See also: Levantine archaeology § Nablus

Alley in the Old City leading to and from the souk, 2008

In the center of Nablus
Nablus
lies the old city, composed of six major quarters: Yasmina, Gharb, Qaryun, Aqaba, Qaysariyya and Habala. Habala is the largest quarter and its population growth led to the development of two smaller neighborhoods: al-Arda and Tal al-Kreim. The old city is densely populated and prominent families include the Nimrs, Tuqans, and Abd al-Hadis. The large fortress-like compound of the Abd al-Hadi Palace
Abd al-Hadi Palace
built in the 19th century is located in Qaryun. The Nimr Hall and the Tuqan Palace are located in the center of the old city. There are several mosques in the Old City: The Great Mosque of Nablus, An-Nasr Mosque, al-Tina Mosque, al-Khadra Mosque, Hanbali Mosque, al-Anbia Mosque, Ajaj Mosque
Mosque
and others[42] There are six hamaams (Turkish baths) in the Old City, the most prominent of them being al-Shifa and al-Hana. Al-Shifa Hamaam was built by the Tuqans in 1624. Al-Hana in Yasmina, was the last hamaam built in the city in the 19th century. It was closed in 1928 but restored and reopened in 1994.[9] Several leather tanneries, souks, pottery and textile workshops line the Old City streets.[40][43] There are a number of historic monuments in the old city including the Khan al-Tujjar and the al- Manara Clock Tower
Manara Clock Tower
built in 1906.[40]

Panorama of Nablus

Picture showing to the right the mountain "Ebal" with the rock of "Sit Islamieh", and to the left the south mountain "Jirziem" with an IDF military post on the far left

Climate The relatively temperate Mediterranean
Mediterranean
climate brings hot, dry summers and cool, rainy winters to Nablus. Spring arrives around March–April and the hottest months in Nablus
Nablus
are July and August with the average high being 29.6 °C (85.3 °F). The coldest month is January with temperatures usually at 6.2 °C (43.2 °F). Rain generally falls between October and March, with annual precipitation rates being approximately 656 mm (25.8 in).[40]

Climate data for Nabulus ( 570 meters above sea level) 1972-1997

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 22.9 (73.2) 28.1 (82.6) 30.4 (86.7) 35 (95) 38.6 (101.5) 38 (100) 38.1 (100.6) 38.6 (101.5) 38.8 (101.8) 35.3 (95.5) 30.7 (87.3) 28 (82) 38.8 (101.8)

Average high °C (°F) 13.1 (55.6) 14.4 (57.9) 17.2 (63) 22.2 (72) 25.7 (78.3) 27.9 (82.2) 29.1 (84.4) 29.4 (84.9) 28.4 (83.1) 25.8 (78.4) 20.2 (68.4) 14.6 (58.3) 22.35 (72.23)

Daily mean °C (°F) 9.0 (48.2) 8.8 (47.8) 11.9 (53.4) 16.6 (61.9) 20.7 (69.3) 24.0 (75.2) 24.8 (76.6) 24.4 (75.9) 22.5 (72.5) 20.5 (68.9) 17.5 (63.5) 13.1 (55.6) 17.8 (64)

Average low °C (°F) 6.2 (43.2) 6.7 (44.1) 8.8 (47.8) 12.1 (53.8) 14.9 (58.8) 17.4 (63.3) 19.3 (66.7) 19.5 (67.1) 18.5 (65.3) 16.2 (61.2) 12.1 (53.8) 7.8 (46) 13.3 (55.9)

Record low °C (°F) −.6 (30.9) −2.8 (27) −1 (30) .6 (33.1) 6.9 (44.4) 11.4 (52.5) 12.3 (54.1) 15.9 (60.6) 13 (55) 9.3 (48.7) 1.4 (34.5) .3 (32.5) −2.8 (27)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 155 (6.1) 135 (5.31) 90 (3.54) 34 (1.34) 5 (0.2) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (0.08) 17 (0.67) 60 (2.36) 158 (6.22) 656 (25.83)

Average relative humidity (%) 74 75 66 55 47 50 65 62 73 62 54 69 62.7

Source: Arab
Arab
Meteorology Book[44]

Demographics

Year Population

1596 4,300[20]

1849 20,000[45]

1860 15,000[46]

1922 15,947[47]

1931 17,498[47]

1945 23,250[48]

1961 45,773[49]

1987 93,000[50]

1997 100,034[51]

2007 126,132[3]

2014 146,493

Prayer hall of Hanbali Mosque

In 1596, the population consisted of 806 Muslim
Muslim
households, 20 Samaritan
Samaritan
households, 18 Christian households, and 15 Jewish households.[20] Local Ottoman authorities recorded a population of around 20,000 residents in Nablus
Nablus
in 1849.[45] In 1867 American visitors found the town to have a population of 4,000 'the chief part of whom are Mohammedans', with some Jews and Christians and 'about 150 Samaritans'.[52] In the 1922 British census of Palestine, there were a total of 15,947 inhabitants: 15,238 Muslims, 16 Jews, 544 Christians, 147 Samaritans
Samaritans
and others.[53] Population continued to grow, rising to 17,498 at the 1931 census of Palestine.[47] According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
(PCBS), Nablus
Nablus
had a population of 126,132 in 2007.[3] In the PCBS's 1997 census, the city had a population of 100,034, including 23,397 refugees, accounting for about 24% of the city's residents.[54] Nablus' Old City had a population of 12,000 in 2006.[9] The population of Nablus
Nablus
city comprises 40% of its governorate's inhabitants.[3] Approximately half of population is under 20 years old. In 1997, the age distribution of the city's inhabitants was 28.4% under the age of 10, 20.8% from 10 to 19, 17.7% from 20–29, 18% from 30 to 44, 11.1% from 45 to 64 and 3.7% above the age of 65. The gender distribution was 50,945 males (50.92%) and 49,089 females (49.07%).[55] Religion In 891 AD, during the early centuries of Islamic rule, Nablus
Nablus
had a religiously diverse population of Samaritans, local Muslims and Christians. Arab
Arab
geographer Al-Dimashqi, recorded that under the rule of the Mamluk
Mamluk
Dynasty ( Muslim
Muslim
Dynasty based in Egypt), local Muslims, Samaritans, Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Jews populated the city.[16] At the 1931 census, the population was counted as 16,483 Muslims, 533 Christians, 6 Jews, 7 Druses and 160 Samaritans.[56] However, this census was taken after the 1929 Palestine riots
1929 Palestine riots
which drove the Jews out of many majority- Arab
Arab
cities.[57] The majority of the inhabitants today are Muslim, but there are small Christian and Samaritan
Samaritan
communities as well. Much of the local Palestinian Muslim
Muslim
population of Nablus
Nablus
is believed to be descended from Samaritans
Samaritans
who converted to Islam. Certain Nabulsi family names are associated with Samaritan
Samaritan
ancestry – Muslimani, Yaish, and Shakshir among others.[58] According to the historian Fayyad Altif, large numbers of Samaritans
Samaritans
converted due to persecution and because the monotheistic nature of Islam
Islam
made it easy for them to accept it.[59] In 1967, there were about 3,500 Christians of various denominations in Nablus, but that figure dwindled to about 650 in 2008.[60] Of the Christian populace, there are seventy Orthodox Christian families, about thirty Catholic (Roman Catholic & Eastern Melkite Catholic) families and thirty Anglican
Anglican
families. Most Christians used to live in the suburb of Rafidia
Rafidia
in the western part of the city.[9] There are seventeen Islamic monuments and eleven mosques in the Old City.[10][61] Nine of the mosques were established before the 15th century.[10] In addition to Muslim
Muslim
houses of worship, Nablus
Nablus
contains an Orthodox church dedicated Saint
Saint
Justin Martyr,[9] built in 1898 and the ancient Samaritan
Samaritan
synagogue, which is still in use.[61] Economy Historic

Manara clock tower in the Old City

Beginning in the early 16th century, trade networks connecting Nablus to Damascus
Damascus
and Cairo
Cairo
were supplemented by the establishment of trading posts in the Hejaz
Hejaz
and Gulf regions to the south and east, as well as in the Anatolian Peninsula
Anatolian Peninsula
and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
islands of Crete
Crete
and Cyprus. Nablus
Nablus
also developed trade relations with Aleppo, Mosul, and Baghdad.[43] The Ottoman government ensured adequate safety and funding for the annual pilgrimage caravan (qafilat al-hajj) from Damascus
Damascus
to the Islamic holy cities of Mecca
Mecca
and Medina. This policy benefited Nablus economically. Pilgrimage caravans became the key factor in the fiscal and political relationship between Nablus
Nablus
and the central government. For a brief period in the early 17th century, the governor of Nablus, Farrukh Pasha, was appointed leader of the pilgrimage caravan (amir al-hajj), and he constructued a large commercial compound in Nablus for that purpose.[43] In 1882, there were 32 soap factories and 400 looms exporting their products throughout the Middle East.[9][62] Nablus
Nablus
exported three-fourths of its soap — the city's most important commodity — to Cairo
Cairo
by caravan through Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, and by sea through the ports of Jaffa
Jaffa
and Gaza. From Egypt, and particularly from Cairo
Cairo
and Damietta, Nablus
Nablus
merchants imported mainly rice, sugar, and spices, as well as linen, cotton, and wool textiles. Cotton, soap, olive oil, and textiles were exported by Nablus
Nablus
merchants to Damascus, whence silks, high-quality textiles, copper, and a number luxury items, such as jewellery were imported.[43] With regard to the local economy, agriculture was the major component. Outside of the city limits, there were extensive fields of olive groves, fig and pomegranate orchards and grape vineyards that covered the area's slopes. Crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and mulukhiyya were grown in the fields, vegetable gardens, and grain mills scattered across central Samaria.[43] Nablus
Nablus
was also the largest producer of cotton in the Levant, producing over 225,000 kg (496,040 lb) of the product by 1837.[24] Modern era

Downtown Nablus, Martyrs Square

Nablus
Nablus
has a bustling modern commercial center with restaurants, and a shopping mall.[63] Traditional industries continue to operate in Nablus, such as the production of soap, olive oil, and handicrafts. Other industries include furniture production, tile production, stone quarrying, textile manufacturing and leather tanning. The city is also a regional trading center for live produce. Most of these industries are centered in the old city.[40] The Vegetable Oil Industry Co. is a Nablus
Nablus
factory that produces refined vegetable oils, especially olive oil, and vegetable butter from the factory is exported to Jordan.[40] The al-Huda Textiles factory is also located in Nablus. In 2000, the factory produced 500 pieces of clothing daily; however, production plummeted to 150–200 pieces daily in 2002. Al-Huda mainly imports textiles from China and exports finished products to Israel.[10] There are eight restaurants in the city and four hotels — the largest being al-Qasr and al-Yasmeen.[64] Nablus' once thriving soap industry has been largely isolated due to difficult transportation conditions stemming from West Bank closures and IDF incursions. Today, there are only two soap factories still operating in the city.[65] The Al-Arz ice-cream company is the largest of six ice-cream manufacturers in the Palestinian territories. The Nablus
Nablus
business developed from an ice-factory set up by Mohammad Anabtawi in the town centre in 1950. It produces 50 tons a day, and exports to Jordan
Jordan
and Iraq. Most of the ingredients are imported from Israel.[66] Before 2000, 13.4% of Nablus' residents worked in Israel, with the figure dropping to 4.7% in 2004. The city's manufacturing sector made up 15.7% of the economy in 2004, a drop from 21% in 2000. Since 2000, most of the workforce has been employed in agriculture and local trade.[10] In the wake of the Intifada, unemployment rates rose from 14.2% in 1997 to 60% in 2004. According to an OCHA
OCHA
report in 2008, one of the reasons for the high unemployment was a ring of checkpoints around the city,[67] leading to the relocation of many businesses.[68] Since the removal of the Hawara
Hawara
roadblock, the casbah has become a vibrant marketplace.[66] Nablus
Nablus
is home to the Palestine Securities Exchange (PSE) and the al-Quds Financial Index, housed in the al-Qasr building in the Rafidia
Rafidia
suburb of the city. The PSE's first trading session took place on February 19, 1997. In 2007, the capitalization of the PSE topped 3.5 million Jordanian dinars.[9] Education

An-Najah University, Nablus

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
(PCBS), in 1997, 44,926 were enrolled in schools (41.2% in primary school, 36.2% in secondary school, and 22.6% in high school). About 19.8% of high school students received bachelor diplomas or higher diplomas.[69] In 2006, there were 234 schools and 93,925 students in the Nablus Governorate; 196 schools are run by the Education Ministry of the Palestinian National Authority, 14 by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and 24 are private schools.[70] Nablus
Nablus
is also home to an-Najah National University, the largest Palestinian university in the West Bank. Founded in 1918 by the an-Najah Nabulsi School, it became a college in 1941 and a university in 1977. An-Najah was closed down by Israeli authorities during the First Intifada, but reopened in 1991. Today, the university has three campuses in Nablus
Nablus
with over 16,500 students and 300 professors. The university's faculties include seven in the humanities and nine in the sciences.[71] Health care There are six hospitals in Nablus, the four major ones being al-Ittihad, St. Lukes, al-Watani(the National) and the Rafidia
Rafidia
Surgery Hospital. The latter, located in Rafidia, a suburb in western Nablus, is the largest hospital in the city. Al-Watani Hospital
Hospital
specializes in oncology services.[10] The Anglican
Anglican
St. Lukes hospital and the National Hospital
Hospital
were built in 1900 and 1910 respectively.[40][72] In addition to hospitals, Nablus
Nablus
contains the al-Rahma and at-Tadamon clinics, the al-Razi medical center, the Amal Center for Rehabilitation and 68 pharmacies.[72] In addition to that, in 2001, Nablus
Nablus
Speciality Hospital
Hospital
was built, in which it is specialized in open heart surgery, angiograms and angioplasties. Culture and arts

Traditional Nablus
Nablus
dress featuring brightly colored coat draped over head and shoulders

Nablus
Nablus
and its culture enjoy a certain renown throughout the Palestinian Territories and the Arab
Arab
world with significant and unique contributions to Palestinian culture, cuisine and costume. Nabulsi, meaning "from Nablus", is used to describe items such as handicrafts (e.g. Nabulsi soap) and food products (e.g. Nabulsi cheese) that are made in Nablus
Nablus
or in the traditional Nablus
Nablus
style. Traditional costume Main article: Palestinian costumes Nablus
Nablus
costume was of a distinctive style that employed colorful combinations of various fabrics. Due to its position as important trade center with a flourishing souk ("market"), in late 19th century, there was a large choice of fabrics available in the city, from Damascus
Damascus
and Aleppo
Aleppo
silk to Manchester
Manchester
cottons and calicos. Similar in construction to the garments worn in the Galilee, both long and short Turkish style jackets were worn over the thob ("robe"). For daily wear, thobs were often made of white cotton or linen, with a preference for winged sleeves. In the summer, costumes often incorporated interwoven striped bands of red, green and yellow on the front and back, with appliqué and braidwork popularly decorating the qabbeh ("square chest piece").[73] Cuisine

A siniyyeh of Kanafeh

Nablus
Nablus
is one of the Palestinian cities that sustained elite classes, fostering the development of a culture of "high cuisine", such as that of Damascus
Damascus
or Baghdad. The city is home to a number of food products well known throughout the Levant, the Arab
Arab
world and the former provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Kanafeh
Kanafeh
is the most famed Nabulsi sweet. Originating in Nablus
Nablus
during the 15th century, by 1575, its recipe was exported throughout the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
— which controlled Palestine at the time. Kanafeh
Kanafeh
is made of several fine shreds of pastry noodles with honey-sweetened cheese in the center. The top layer of the pastry is usually dyed orange with food coloring and sprinkled with crushed pistachios. Though it is now made throughout the Middle East, to the present day, kanafeh Nabulsi enjoys continued fame, partly due to its use of a white-brine cheese called jibneh Nabulsi. Boiled sugar is used as a syrup for kanafeh.[74] Other sweets made in Nablus
Nablus
include baklawa, "Tamriya", mabrumeh and ghuraybeh,[75] a plain pastry made of butter, flour and sugar in an "S"-shape, or shaped as fingers or bracelets.[76] Cultural centers There are three cultural centers in Nablus. The Child Cultural Center (CCC), founded in 1998 and built in a renovated historic building, operates an art and drawing workshop, a stage for play performances, a music room, a children's library and a multimedia lab.[77] The Children Happiness Center (CHC) was also established in 1998. Its main activities include promoting Palestinian culture
Palestinian culture
through social events, dabke classes and field trips. In addition to national culture, the CHC has a football and chess team.[78] The Nablus municipal government established its own cultural center in 2003, called the Nablus
Nablus
Municipality Cultural Center (NMCC) aimed at establishing and developing educational facilities.[79] Soap production

Nabulsi soap
Nabulsi soap
stacked at Tuqan factory, Nablus

Main article: Nabulsi soap Nabulsi soap
Nabulsi soap
or sabon nabulsi is a type of castile soap produced only in Nablus[80] and made of three primary ingredients: virgin olive oil, water, and a sodium[81] compound.[82] Since the 10th century, Nabulsi soap has enjoyed a reputation for being a fine product,[83] and has been exported across the Arab
Arab
world and to Europe.[82] Though the number of soap factories decreased from a peak of thirty in the 19th century to only two today, efforts to preserve this important part of Palestinian and Nabulsi cultural heritage continue.[82][83] Made in a cube-like shape about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) tall and 2.25 by 2.25 inches (5.7 by 5.7 cm) wide, the color of Nabulsi soap
Nabulsi soap
is like that of "the page of an old book."[83] The cubes are stamped on the top with the seal of the factory that produces it.[84] The soap's sodium compound came from the barilla plant. Prior to the 1860s, in the summertime, the barilla would be placed in towering stacks, burned, and then the ashes and coals would be gathered into sacks, and transported to Nablus
Nablus
from the area of modern-day Jordan
Jordan
in large caravans. In the city, the ashes and coals were pounded into a fine natural alkaline soda powder called qilw.[83] Today, qilw is still used in combination with lime. Local government

New clock tower at Martyrs Square in downtown Nablus

The city of Nablus
Nablus
is the muhfaza (seat) of the Nablus
Nablus
Governorate, and is governed by a municipal council made up of fifteen elected members, including the mayor.[85] The two primary political parties in the municipal council are Hamas and Fatah. In the 2005 Palestinian municipal elections, the Reform and Change list representing the Hamas
Hamas
faction won 73.4% of the vote, gaining the majority of the municipal seats (13). Palestine Tomorrow, representing Fatah, gained the remaining two seats with 13.0% of the vote. Other political parties, such as the Palestinian People's Party and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
failed to gain any seats in the council, though they each received over 1,000 votes.[86] Yaish's four-year term legally expired in December 2009. While elections in the West Bank
West Bank
were scheduled for 17 July 2010, they were canceled due to Fatah's lack of agreement on list of candidates. Nablus
Nablus
was one of the most important municipalities where Fatah
Fatah
failed to resolve internal conflicts that resulted in two competing Fatah lists: one headed by former mayor Ghassan Shakaa and one headed by Amin Makboul.[87] In the October 2012 municipal elections, Hamas
Hamas
boycotted the polls, protesting the holding of elections while reconciliation efforts with Fatah
Fatah
were at a standstill. Former mayor Ghassan Shakaa, a former local Fatah
Fatah
leader, won the vote as an independent against Fatah member Amin Makboul and another independent candidate.[88][89] Mayors Main article: List of mayors of Nablus Modern mayorship in Nablus
Nablus
began in 1869 with the appointment of Sheikh Mohammad Tuffaha by the Ottoman governor of Syria/Palestine. On July 2, 1980, Bassam Shakaa, then mayor of Nablus, lost both of his legs as a result of a car bombing carried out by Israeli militants affiliated with the Gush Emunim Underground movement.[90] The current mayor, Adly Yaish, a Hamas
Hamas
member, was arrested by the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces in May 2007, during Operation Summer Rains, launched in retaliation for the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas.[91] Municipal council members Abdel Jabbar Adel Musa "Dweikat", Majida Fadda, Khulood El-Masri, and Mahdi Hanbali were also arrested.[85] He spent 15 months in prison without being charged.[92] Municipal services

A street in Nablus
Nablus
leading to the Old City. Minaret
Minaret
of An-Nasr Mosque in the background

In 1997, 99.7% of Nablus' 18,003 households were connected to electricity through a public network. Prior to its establishment in 1957, electricity came from private generators. Today, the majority of the inhabitants of 18 nearby towns, in addition to the city's inhabitants, are connected to the Nablus
Nablus
network.[93] The majority of households are connected to a public sewage system (93%), with the reminaing 7% connected through cesspits.[94] The sewage system, established n the early 1950s, also connects the refugee camps of Balata, Askar and Ein Beit al-Ma'.[95] Pipe water is provided for 100% of the city's households, primarily through a public network (99.3%), but some residents receive water through a private system (0.7%).[94] The water network was established in 1932 by the British authorities and is fed by water from four nearby wells: Deir Sharaf, Far'a, al-Badan and Audala.[95] Fire department Nablus
Nablus
is one of the few cities in the West Bank
West Bank
to have a fire department, which was founded in 1958. At that time, the "fire brigade" (as it was called) was composed of five members and one extinguishing vehicle. In 2007, the department had seventy members and over twenty vehicles. Until 1986, it was responsible for all of the northern West Bank, but today it only covers the Nablus
Nablus
and Tubas Governorates. From 1997 to 2006, Nablus' fire department extinguished 15,346 fires.[96] Transportation In the early 20th century, Nablus
Nablus
was the southernmost station of a spur from the Jezreel Valley railway's Afula
Afula
station, itself a spur from the Hejaz
Hejaz
railway. The extension of the railway to Nablus
Nablus
was built in 1911–12.[97] During the beginning of the British Mandate, one weekly train was operated from Haifa to Nablus
Nablus
via Afula
Afula
and Jenin. The railway was destroyed during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and the route of the line bisected by the Green Line. The main Beersheba– Nazareth
Nazareth
road running through the middle of the West Bank
West Bank
ends in Nablus, although thoroughfare of local Arabs is severely restricted. The city was connected to Tulkarm, Qalqilya
Qalqilya
and Jenin
Jenin
by roads which are now blocked by the Israeli West Bank
West Bank
barrier. From 2000 until 2011, Israel
Israel
maintained checkpoints such as Huwwara checkpoint which effectively cut off the city, severely curtailing social and economic travel.[98] From January 2002, buses, taxis, trucks and private citizens required a permit from the Israeli military authorities to leave and enter Nablus.[10] Since 2011, there has been a relaxation of travel restrictions and the dismantlement of some checkpoints.[99] The nearest airport is the Ben Gurion International Airport
Ben Gurion International Airport
in Lod, Israel, but because of restrictions governing the entry of Palestinians to Israel, and their lack of access to foreign Embassies to get travel visas, many residents must travel to Amman, Jordan
Jordan
to use the Queen Alia International Airport, which requires passage through a number of checkpoints and the Jordanian border. Taxis are the main form of public transportation within Nablus
Nablus
and the city contains 28 taxi offices and garages.[100] Sports The Nablus
Nablus
football stadium has a capacity of 8,000.[101] The stadium is home to the city's football club al-Ittihad, which is in the main league of the Palestinian Territories.[102] The club participated in the Middle East Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Scholar Athlete Games in 2000.[103] International relations

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See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the Palestinian Territories Twin towns and sister cities Nablus
Nablus
is twinned, or has sister city relationships with:[104]

Lille, France[105] Nazareth, Israel Dublin, Ireland Como, Italy Naples, Italy[106] Toscana, Italy Poznań, Poland[107][108] Rabat, Morocco Stavanger, Norway Khasavyurt, Russia Dundee, United Kingdom[109]

See also

List of cities administered by the Palestinian National Authority List of people from Nablus Shechem, the Biblical city which occupied the same location

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Bibliography

Abujidi, Nurhan (2014). Urbicide in Palestine: Spaces of Oppression and Resilience. Routledge. ISBN 9781317818847.  Doumani, Beshara (1995). Rediscovering Palestine, Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700–1900. University of California Press. Retrieved 2008-04-24.  Kim Lee, Risha (2003). Let's Go 2003: Israel
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and the Palestinian territories. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-30580-2.  Le Strange, Guy (1890). Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. OCLC 1004386.  Muqaddasi
Muqaddasi
(1886) [c. 985]. Description of Syria, Including Palestine. Guy Le Strange. London: Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society.  Negev, Avraham; Gibson, Shimon (2005). Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 9780826485717.  Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft. ISBN 3-920405-41-2. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nablus.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Nablus.

Official website A site explaining the reasons for the devastated Palestinian economy Nablus
Nablus
the Culture, reviving cultural life in Nablus Nablus
Nablus
after Five Years of Conflict December 2005 report by OCHA (PDF). Archaeological Remains Found in Nablus Picture showing Nablus
Nablus
from east (Panorama) Picture showing east region of Nablus
Nablus
(Panorama) – The picture taken from Askar Bahjat Sabri, "Urban Aspects in the City of Nablus
Nablus
in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century" An-Najah University
An-Najah University
Journal for Research - Humanities, Volume 6 (1992)

v t e

Nablus
Nablus
Governorate

Cities

Nablus
Nablus
( Balata
Balata
al-Balad • Juneid • Rafidia)

Municipalities

Aqraba
Aqraba
(Yanun) Asira al-Shamaliya Beita Beit Furik Huwara Jamma'in Qabalan Sebastia (Nisf Jubeil)

Villages

al-Aqrabaniya Asira al-Qibliya Awarta Azmut al-Badhan Beit Dajan Beit Hasan Beit Iba Beit Imrin Beit Wazan Bizzariya Burin Burqa Deir al-Hatab Deir Sharaf Duma Einabus Ein Shibli Furush Beit Dajan Ijnisinya Iraq Burin Jurish Kafr Qallil al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya (Ammuriya) Madama Majdal Bani Fadil an-Naqura an-Naseriya Odala Osarin Qaryut
Qaryut
(Jalud) Qusin Qusra Rujeib Salim Sarra as-Sawiya Talfit Talluza Tell Urif Yasid Yatma Zawata Zeita Jamma'in

Refugee camps

Askar Balata Ein Beit al-Ma'

v t e

Cities administered by the State of Palestine

West Bank

Abu Dis Arraba Bani Na'im Beit Sahour Beit Jala Beit Ummar Beitunia Bethlehem al-Bireh ad-Dhahiriya Dura al-Eizariya Halhul Hebron Idhna Jenin Jericho Nablus Qabatiya Qalqilyah al-Ram Ramallah Rawabi
Rawabi
(under construction) Sa'ir Salfit as-Samu Tarqumiya Tubas Tulkarm Ya'bad al-Yamun Yatta

Gaza Strip*

Abasan al-Kabira Bani Suheila Beit Hanoun Beit Lahia Deir al-Balah Gaza City Jabalia Khan Yunis Rafah az-Zawayda

*From June 2007, the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
has been under de facto Hamas governance.

v t e

Roman colonies
Roman colonies
in ancient Levant

Colonies of legion veterans

Berytus Caesarea Maritima
Caesarea Maritima
2 Aelia Capitolina
Aelia Capitolina
1 3 Ptolemais 1

Colonies of late Empire

Laodicea Antioch Seleucia Emesa Heliopolis 1 Palmyra
Palmyra
1 3 Damascus
Damascus
1 3 Arca Caesarea Sidon Tyrus 1 Sebaste Bostra
Bostra
1 3 Petra
Petra
1 Neapolis Philippopolis Dura-Europos
Dura-Europos
2

Possible colonial status

Gaza Ascalon Gerasa Gadara Emmaus Nicopolis Neronias

Locations with modern names

Israel

Jerusalem: Aelia Capitolina Acre: Ptolemais Caesarea: Caesarea
Caesarea
Maritima Imwas: Emmaus Nicopolis Banias: Neronias

Jordan

Petra: Petra Umm Qais: Gadara Jerash: Gerasa

Lebanon

Arqa: Arca Caesarea Beirut: Berytus Baalbek: Heliopolis Saida: Sidon Tyre: Tyrus

Syria

Bosra: Bostra Damascus: Damascus Dura-Europos: Dura-Europus Homs: Emesa Latakia: Laodicea Shahba: Philippopolis Tadmur: Palmyra

Turkey

Antakya: Antioch Samandağ: Seleucia

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Colonia (Roman) Legacy of the Roman Empire

1 UNESCO World Heritage Sites; 2 Proposed; 3 in Danger

Authority control

GN

.