the largest west bank city.

Nablus is 30 miles north of Jerusalem in a valley between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. Known in the Bible as Shechem, it was the home of Jacob, Jacob's well, and the tomb of Joseph; it was the place of Jeroboam's rebellion and, as chief city of Samaria, became his capital of the kingdom of Israel. It was rebuilt and renamed Neapolis (from which the name Nablus derives) by the Roman emperor Vespasian, suffered damage in the Crusades, and became part of the Ottoman Empire. After the defeat and dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, it became part of the British Mandate territory of Palestine. It became part of the Jordanian-occupied West Bank following the ArabIsrael War in 1948 and then part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank after June 1967. Israeli troops withdrew from the city in December 1995, after which it passed under the control of the Palestinian Authority. It was reoccupied by Israeli forces on several occasions since the start of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in late 2000.

Nablus has been a major economic, political, and cultural center for Palestinians. Several leading families in Palestinian history stem from Nablus, including the Tuqan Family and the Abd al-Hadi Family. It was long an important manufacturing city, particularly for textiles, food products, and olive oil soap. It has played an important role in Palestinian political history as well, especially as a center for Palestinian nationalism outside the family rivalries of Jerusalem. Home to al-Najah University (which obtained university status in 1977), the city has produced numerous writers, poets, and academicians. The population stood at 100,034 during the last official census in 1997.

see also abd al-hadi family; arabisrael war (1948); aqsa intifada, al-; palestinian authority; tuqan family; west bank.


                                             Nablus City Center                                           Nablus Old City


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