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Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicجنين
 • LatinJinin (official)
Janin (unofficial)
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrewג'נין
Jenin is located in the Palestinian territories
Location of Jenin within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°27′40″N 35°18′00″E / 32.46111°N 35.30000°E / 32.46111; 35.30000Coordinates: 32°27′40″N 35°18′00″E / 32.46111°N 35.30000°E / 32.46111; 35.30000
Palestine grid178/207
StateState of Palestine
 • TypeCity
 • Head of MunicipalityHadem Rida
 • Total37,342 dunams (37.3 km2 or 14.4 sq mi)
 • Total39,004
 • Density1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
 (plus 10,371 in Jenin refugee camp)
Name meaningThe spring of gardens[2]

Jenin (/əˈnn/; Arabic: About this soundجنين Ǧinīn) is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major center for the surrounding towns.[citation needed] In 2007 the city had a population of 39,004.[1] Jenin is under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.


Jenin was known in ancient times as the village of "Ein-Jenin" or "Tel Jenin".[3] Tell Jenin, is located at the center of what is today Jenin's business district.[4]


Bronze Age

Jenin has been identified as the place "Gina" mentioned in the Amarna letters from the 14th century BCE. At the time, it was a vassal state of the New Kingdom of Egypt.[5] The people of Gina managed to kill the warlord Labaya during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten.[6]

Iron Age

Four terracotta lamps of Phoenician origin dated to the 8th century BCE were discovered in Ain Jenin by archaeologist G. I. Harding, and are interpreted as attesting to some form of contact and exchange between the residents of Jenin at that time and those of Phoenicia.[7]

Roman period

During the Roman period, Jenin was called "Ginae" and was settled exclusively by Samaritans (Heb. כותים). The people of Galilee were disposed to pass through their city during the annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem.[8] Biblical commentator F. W. Farrar raised the possibility that this Samaritan village, "the first village at which [a traveler taking the road from Galilee to Judea over Mount Tabor] would arrive", was the one which rejected the disciples of Jesus in Luke's Gospel at the point where Jesus and his followers begin his journey towards Jerusalem.[9]

Byzantine period

Ceramics dating from the Byzantine era have been found here.[10]

Crusader period

The city of Jenin fell under the Crusader rule in 1103 AD. The Crusaders changed its name to "Grand Grin", in order to distinguish it from the town of Zir'in, which they called "Petit Grin".[11] Jenin remained in the hands of the Crusaders until the year 1187 AD, when Saladin destroyed its nearby fort, Castellum Beleismum.[12] After the Battle of Hattin, Jenin fell into the hands of the Muslims, when Saladin held peace with his adversaries, and accordingly he left for Beisan. In 1229, a peace was concluded between Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and Al-Kamil during the Sixth Crusade, whereby the city was given to the Crusaders, but As-Salih Ayyub was able to control it permanently in 1244 after the Battle of La Forbie. In 1255, it was agreed between An-Nasir Yusuf and Izz al-Din Aybak, the first of the Mamluk sultans, to give him all the lands that lie west of the Jordan River, and thus Jenin entered into the possession of the Mamluks.

Mamluk period

Dimashki, writing around 1300, said that after the rise of "Turk power", the empire was divided into nine (sub-)kingdoms", or Mamlakat. Jenin was listed as one of the places belonging to the (sub-)kingdom centred at Safad.[13]

Yaqut described Jenin as "a small and beautiful town, lying between Nabulus and Baisan, in the Jordan Province. There is much water, and many springs are found here, and often have I visited it."[14]

In the late 13th century, Mamluk emirs stationed at Jenin were ordered by Qalawun, the sultan, "to ride every day with their troops before the fortress of 'Akka, so as to protect the coast and the merchants."[15]

Ottoman era

Street scene in Jenin, 1917. An Ottoman Army soldier (center left) with a local resident (center right)

During Ottoman rule in Palestine (1516-1918), Jenin, Lajjun and the Carmel area were for part of the 17th century ruled by the Bedouin Turabay family.[16] In the census of 1596, Jenin was located in the nahiya of Jenin, in the liwa of Lajjun. It had a population of 8 households, all Muslim. They paid a fixed tax rate of 25% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, goats and beehives, in addition to occasional revenues; a total of 2,000 akçe. All of the revenue went to a Waqf in the name of Sultan Guri.[17]

In the mid-18th century, Jenin was designated the administrative capital of the combined districts of Lajjun and Ajlun.[18] There are indications that the area comprising Jenin and Nablus remained functionally autonomous under Ottoman rule and that the empire struggled to collect taxes there. During the Napoleonic Campaign in Egypt which extended into Syria and Palestine in 1799, a local official from Jenin wrote a poem enumerating and calling upon local Arab leaders to resist Bonaparte, without mentioning the Sultan or the need to protect the Ottoman Empire.[19]

In the late 19th century, some members of the Jarrar family, who formed part of the mallakin (elite land-owning families) in Jenin, cooperated with merchants in Haifa to set up an export enterprise there.[20] During the Ottoman era, Jenin was plagued by local warfare between members of the same clan.[21] The French explorer Guérin visited in 1870.[22]

In 1882, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine described Jenin as "The capital of the district, the seat of a Caimacam, a town of about 3,000 inhabitants, with a small bazaar. The houses are well built of stone. There are two families of Roman Catholics; the remainder are Moslems. A spring rises east of the town and is conducted to a large masonry reservoir, near the west side, of good squared stonework, with a long stone trough. This reservoir was built by 'And el Hady, Mudir of Acre, in the first half of the century [..], north of the town is the little mosque of 'Ezz ed Din, with a good- sized dome and a minaret."[23]

British Mandate period

Buildings in Jenin dynamited by British forces, 1938

According to a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, Jenin had a population of 2,637, consisting of 2,307 Muslims, 7 Jews, 108 Christians, 212 Hindus and 3 Sikhs.[24] From 1936, Jenin became a center of rebellion against the British Mandatory authorities. By the summer of 1938, residents of the city embarked on "an intensified campaign of murder, intimidation and sabotage" that caused the British administration "grave concern," according to a British report to the League of Nations.[25] The city played an important role in the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine, prompted by the death of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam in a fire-fight with British colonial police at the nearby town of Ya'bad months prior to the start of the revolt. On 25 August 1938, the day after the British Assistant District Commissioner was assassinated in his Jenin office, a large British force with explosives entered the town. After ordering the inhabitants to leave, about one quarter of the town was blown up.[26]

Jenin was used by Fawzi al-Qawuqji's Arab Liberation Army as a base.

1948 War

In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the city was defended by the Iraqi Army, then captured briefly by the forces from Israel's Carmeli Brigade during the "Ten Days' fighting" following the cancellation of the first cease-fire. Prior to the battle, the city's residents fled temporarily.[27] The offensive was actually a feint designed to draw Arab forces away from the critical Siege of Jerusalem, and gains in that sector were quickly abandoned when Arab reinforcements arrived.

Jordanian control

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Jenin came under Jordanian rule. It was annexed by Jordan in 1950.

The Jenin refugee camp was founded in 1953 by Jordan to house displaced Palestinians who fled or were expelled during the 1948 War. In 2014 the camp had a population of 16,000. For 19 years, the city was under Jordanian control. A war cemetery for Iraqi soldiers and local combatants is located on the outskirts of Jenin.

The Jordanian census of 1961 found 14,402 inhabitants in Jenin.[28]

Contemporary period

2018 United Nations map of the area, showing the Israeli occupation arrangements.
A street in Jenin, 2011

Jenin has been under Israeli occupation since the Six-Day War, in 1967.

In 1996, Israel handed over control of the city to the Palestinian National Authority in keeping with the Oslo Accords. Known to Palestinians as "the martyrs' capital", the camp's militants, some 200 armed men, included members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Tanzim, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas.[29][30] By Israel's count, at least 28 suicide bombers were dispatched from the Jenin camp from 2000–2003 during the Second Intifada.[29] Israeli army weekly Bamahane attributes at least 31 militant attacks, totaling 124 victims, to Jenin during the same period, more than any other city in the West Bank.[31]

During the al-Aqsa Intifada, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield with the stated aim of dismantling terrorist infrastructure so as to curb suicide bombings and other militant activities. The army encircled and entered six major Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, among them Jenin. During the Battle of Jenin in April 2002, 23 Israeli soldiers and 52 Palestinians, including civilians[32][33] , were killed.[34] Human Rights Watch reported that the refugee camp, which was the major battleground, suffered extensive damage. Witnesses stated unarmed people were shot and denied medical treatment, and as a result died. Human Rights Watch have regarded many killings to be unlawful such as the death of a 57-year-old wheelchair bound man who was shot and run over by a tank despite having attached a white flag on his wheelchair. A 37-year-old man who was paralysed was crushed under the rubble of his house, his family was refused to be allowed to remove his body. A 14-year-old boy was killed as he travelled to purchase groceries during the temporary relief of the curfew that was imposed by the army. Medical staff were shot at (one nurse killed) while trying to reach the wounded even after clearly being in uniform displaying the red crescent symbol.[35] There have also been reports of Israeli soldiers using Palestinians as human shields, one father described how a soldier rested his rifle on his 14-year-old son's shoulder as he shot.[36] Israel denied the entry of rescue teams and journalists into Jenin even after they withdrew. Over the following years, Jenin was subject to extended curfews and targeted killings.

During a gun-battle with Islamic Jihad militants whom Israel says were firing at troops from inside the UN compound, an Israeli military sniper shot and killed a UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) employee, Iain Hook (54) on November 22, 2002.[37] The sniper reportedly mistook a cellphone in Hook's hands for a gun or grenade.[38]

In the framework of the Valley of Peace initiative, a joint Arab-Israeli project is under way to promote tourism in the Jenin region.[39] In 2010, 600 new businesses opened in Jenin.[40] The Canaan Fair Trade is headquartered in Jenin.[41] Director of the Freedom Theater in Jenin, Juliano Mer-Khamis, was killed by masked gunmen in the city in April 2011. Mer-Khamis co-founded the theatre with Zakaria Zubeidi, former military chief of the al-Aqsa Brigades who had renounced violence.[42]


Jenin is situated at the foot of the rugged northernmost hills (Jabal Nablus) of the West Bank, and along the southern edge of the Jezreel Valley (Marj Ibn Amer),[43] which the city overlooks.[44] Its highest elevation is about 250 meters above sea level and its lowest areas are 90 meters above sea level.[45] Immediately southwest of Jenin is the Sahl Arraba plain (Dothan Valley), while further south is the Marj Sanur valley.[46] About 1.5 kilometers to Jenin's east is Mount Gilboa (Jabal Faqqua).[47]

Jenin is 42 kilometers north of Nablus, 18 kilometers to the south of Afula, and 51 kilometers southeast of Haifa.[48] The nearest localities are Umm at-Tut and Jalqamus to the southeast, Qabatiya and Zababdeh to the south, Burqin to the southwest, Kafr Dan to the west, Arranah, Jalamah and the Arab Israeli village of Muqeible to the north, Deir Ghazaleh to the northeast, and Beit Qad and Deir Abu Da'if to the east.


Jenin municipality was established in 1886 under the Ottoman rule with no more than 80 voters and elections were made every 4 years until 1982 when the Israeli government took control over the municipality until 1995.[citation needed]

List of Jenin mayors:[49]

Municipal elections were held in Jenin on 15 December 2005. Six seats each were won by Hamas and the local coalition of Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Jenin was one of several Palestinian cities where Hamas showed a dramatic growth in electoral support. [50] The mayor of Jenin is Hadem Rida.


According to the 2007 census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Jenin had a population of 39,004,[1] the Jenin Refugee Camp of 10,371[1] with 9,571 registered refugees[51] on 373 dunams (92 acres). Some 42.3% of the population of the camp was under the age of 15.

Year Population Jenin City
1596 8 households[17]
1821 ~1,500-2,000[52]
1838 ~2,000[53]
1870 ~2,000[54]
1882 ~3,000[55]
1922 2,637[24]
1931 2,706 + 68[56]
1945 3,990[57][58]
1961 14,402[28]
1997 26,681[59]
2007 39,004[1]

Public institutions and landmarks

The Khalil Suleiman Hospital is located in Jenin.

The city has a monument honoring German pilots shot down in Jenin during the First World War which incorporates an original wooden propeller.[60] An old British Mandate landing strip, Muqeible Airfield, is located in Jenin. The main and largest mosque of Jenin is the Fatima Khatun Mosque, built in 1566.

Education and culture

Arab American University in Jenin

The Arab American University is located in Jenin's vicinity.

Cinema Jenin is the largest movie theater in the area. The theater, which reopened in 2010 after a 23-year intermission, has indoor and outdoor screens, a film library and educational facilities.[61]Strings of Freedom is an orchestra in Jenin founded by an Israeli Arab, Wafaa Younis, who travels form her home in central Israel to teach music to the local youth.[62]

Since 2010, the Gilboa Regional Council has been working with the Jenin district authorities on the development of joint tourism projects.[63]


  1. ^ a b c d e 2007 Locality Population Statistics Archived 2010-12-10 at the Wayback Machine. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 147
  3. ^ Mariam Shahin (2005). Palestine:A Guide. Interlink Books. p. 183. ISBN 1-56656-557-X.
  4. ^ Kohl et al., 2007, p. 339.
  5. ^ Shmuel Aḥituv (1984). Canaanite Toponyms in Ancient Egyptian Documents. The Magnes Press. p. 103.
  6. ^ Dodson (2016), p. 81.
  7. ^ Hadidi, 1995, p. 92.
  8. ^ Josephus, Antiquities (Book xx, chapter vi, verse 1).
  9. ^ Farrar, F. W., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Luke 9, accessed 11 June 2018
  10. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 750
  11. ^ Khalidi, W. (1992). All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies. ISBN 0-88728-224-5.
  12. ^ Boas, Adrian (2006). Archaeology of the Military Orders: A Survey of the Urban Centres, Rural Settlements and Castles of the Military Orders in the Latin East (c.1120-1291). Routledge. ISBN 9781134422845.
  13. ^ Cited in le Strange, 1890, p. 41
  14. ^ Cited in le Strange, 1890, p. 464
  15. ^ Ayalon and Sharon, 1986, p. 168.
  16. ^ Chatty, 2006, p. 868.
  17. ^ a b Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 160
  18. ^ Doumani, 1995, p. 39.
  19. ^ Quataert, 2005, p. 107.
  20. ^ Yazbak, 1998, p. 150.
  21. ^ Hamed Salem. "The Archaeology of Warfare: Local Chiefdoms and Settlement Systems in the Jenin Region during the Ottoman Period of Palestine". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  22. ^ Guérin, 1874, pp. 327 - 332
  23. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, pp. 44 -45
  24. ^ a b Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Jenin, p. 29
  25. ^ Corera, Gordon. "The British in Jenin". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  26. ^ "The British in Jenin", History Today, July 2002, Gordon Corera, pp. 2-4.
  27. ^ Gelber, Yoav (2004) "Independence Versus Nakba"; Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir Publishing, ISBN 965-517-190-6, p.220
  28. ^ a b Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics, 1964, p. 8 Archived 2018-01-20 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ a b Lee, Ken (June 24, 2003). "Jenin rises from the dirt". BBC. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  30. ^ United Nations Yearbook 2002. Bernan Press. 2002. ISBN 978-92-1-100904-0. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  31. ^ Kiron, Omri; Al-Peleg, Daniel (September 4, 2009). "BeGeder Hatzlaha (Hebrew title)". Bamahane (in Hebrew) (3003): 31–32.
  32. ^ Krauss, Joseph. "Weary West Bank fighters watch Gaza assault from afar". AFP / The Jordan Times. - "Fifty-four Palestinians and 23 Israeli soldiers were killed in the mêlée."
  33. ^ Katz, Yaakov (2010-07-14). "IDF mulls entry to West Bank cities by Jewish Israelis". JPost.
  34. ^ "BBC NEWS - Middle East - UN says no massacre in Jenin". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  36. ^ SUMMARY, HRW
  37. ^ Israel admits killing British UN worker BBC News November 23, 2002
  38. ^ Fisher, Ian (2002-11-24). "Israel admits one of its soldiers killed U.N. officer in Jenin". The New York Times (November 24). Retrieved June 7, 2012. An Israeli soldier then fired at Mr. Hook inside the compound when he saw "an object which resembles a pistol" in his hand, the statement read.
  39. ^ "". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  40. ^ "The Economic Impact of Israeli-Arab Visitors to the West Bank". Archived from the original on 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  41. ^ "Canaan Fair Trade". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  42. ^ "Juliano Mer-Khamis". The Economist. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  43. ^ Zeitoun, Mark (2008). Power and Water in the Middle East: The Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict. I.B.Tauris. p. 88.
  44. ^ von Tischendorf, Constantin (1853). Travels in the East. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. p. 226.
  45. ^ Environmental Profile for the West Bank: Jenin District. Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem. 1996. p. 67.
  46. ^ Great Britain: Naval Intelligence Division. Palestine & Transjordan. Routledge. p. 17.
  47. ^ Hammel, Eric (2001). Six Days in June: How Israel Won the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Pacifica Military History. p. 373.
  48. ^ Lewensohn, Avraham (1979). Israel Tourguide. Tourguide : Bet A. Lewensohn. p. 244.
  49. ^ List of Mayors of Jenin Archived 2008-10-07 at the Wayback Machine Jenin Municipality.
  50. ^ Palestinian Municipal Elections, the Left is advancing, while Hamas capitalizes on the decline of Fatah Archived 2006-03-22 at the Wayback Machine Nasser Ibrahim, December 22, 2005
  51. ^ UNWRA Census
  52. ^ Scholz, 1822, p. 266, cited in Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, p. 155
  53. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, p. 155
  54. ^ Guérin, 1874, p. 328
  55. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 44
  56. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 68
  57. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 54
  58. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 16 Archived 2018-09-05 at the Wayback Machine
  59. ^ "Palestinian Population by Locality, Subspace and Age Groups in Years [Jenin Governorate]" (PDF). Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). 1997. p. 21. Retrieved December 25, 2010.
  60. ^ Palestinians and Their Society, 1880-1946Author:Sarah Graham-Brown
  61. ^ "Jenin cinema reopens with film of hope". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  62. ^ Kershner, Isabel (2009-03-29). "Concert for Holocaust Survivors Is Condemned". The New York Times. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  63. ^ Between the Gilboa and Jenin


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