Tubas

Tubas

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Tubas or Toubas is a small Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 city in the northeastern West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, located 21 kilometres (13 mi) northeast of Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, a few kilometers west of the Jordan River. A city of over 16,000 inhabitants, it serves as the economic and administrative center of the Tubas Governorate
Tubas Governorate
The Tubas Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authority in the northeastern West Bank. It district capital or muhfaza is the city of Tubas. In 2007, the population was 50,267.-Village councils:*Bardala*Ein al-Beida...

. Its urban area consists of 2,271 dunam
Dunam
A dunam or dönüm, dunum, donum, dynym, dulum was a non-SI unit of land area used in the Ottoman Empire and representing the amount of land that can be plowed in a day; its value varied from 900–2500 m²...

s (227 hectares). It is governed by a municipal council of 15 members and most of its working inhabitants are employed in agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 or public services. Jamal Abu Mohsin has been the mayor of Tubas since being elected in 2005.

Tubas has been identified as the ancient town of Thebez—a Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite town famous for revolting against King Abimelech
Abimelech (Judges)
In the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible, Abimelech was a son of the great judge Gideon ; thus his name אֲבִימֶלֶךְ / אֲבִימָלֶךְ can best be interpreted "my father, the king". "Abimelech", a name claiming the inherited right to rule, was also a common name of the Philistine kings...

. However, the modern town was founded in the late 19th century—during the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rule of Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

—by Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 clans living in the Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

 region and became major town in the District of Nablus
District of Nablus
The District of Nablus also known as Sanjak Nablus is a historical administrative area that existed throughout Ottoman rule of Palestine and to a lesser extent during British rule. It exists today as the Nablus Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority...

, particularly known for its timber and cheese-making. It came under the British Mandate of Palestine in 1917, annexed by Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 after their capture of the town in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, and then occupied by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

. The Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 has had complete control of Tubas since it was transferred to them in 1995.

Biblical period


The city's name Tubas derives from the Canaanite word Tuba Syoys or "illuminating star". Tubas was identified by Edward Robinson
Edward Robinson (scholar)
Edward Robinson was an American biblical scholar, known as the “Father of Biblical Geography.” He has been referred to as the “founder of modern Palestinology.” -Biography:...

 to be the Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite town of "Thebez" mentioned in the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

. Thebez was ruled by the Israelite
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

 King Abimelech
Abimelech (Judges)
In the Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible, Abimelech was a son of the great judge Gideon ; thus his name אֲבִימֶלֶךְ / אֲבִימָלֶךְ can best be interpreted "my father, the king". "Abimelech", a name claiming the inherited right to rule, was also a common name of the Philistine kings...

 of Shechem
Shechem
Shechem was a Canaanite city mentioned in the Amarna letters, and is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an Israelite city of the tribe of Manasseh and the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel...

. When the people of Shechem (at that time a Canaanite city) revolted against him, Thebez joined the revolt. A Biblical story relates that Abimelech attempted to destroy Thebez in response to its participation in the revolt and when he and his army attacked a tower in the town, a woman hurled a millstone
Millstone
Millstones or mill stones are used in windmills and watermills, including tide mills, for grinding wheat or other grains.The type of stone most suitable for making millstones is a siliceous rock called burrstone , an open-textured, porous but tough, fine-grained sandstone, or a silicified,...

 at Abimelech, killing him.

Archaeological remains such as cemeteries and olive presses indicate that Tubas was inhabited during the Roman era of rule in Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

. Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

 mentioned Thebez being 13 Roman miles east of Neapolis (Nablus). Besides the Biblical story, nothing has been known about Thebez before or after the revolt.

Founding


Modern-day Tubas was founded in the late 19th century during Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 rule in Palestine, when groups of Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s belonging to the Daraghmeh clan—mostly shepherds and farmers who lived in the Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

—migrated northward to the site because of its fertile ground, proximity to several springs, and its high elevation compared to the Jordan Valley and Wadi al-Far'a
Wadi al-Far'a
Wadi al-Far'a is a Palestinian village in the Tubas Governorate in the northeastern West Bank located five kilometers southwest of Tubas. It has a land area of 12,000 dunams, of which 337 is built-up and 10,500 are for agricultural purposes. It is under the complete control of the Palestinian...

 plain; Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus , and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated,...

 was visible from the area. The Daraghmeh clan had lived in the Jordan Valley since the 15th century and in addition to Tubas, they founded or inhabited the nearby hamlets of Kardala
Kardala
Kardala is a Palestinian hamlet located in the Tubas Governorate, 13 kilometers northeast of Tubas adjacent to Bardala in the west and Ein al-Beida in the east. It had a population of 160 inhabitants in 2006. It is located on the eastern foothills of the northern Jordan Valley on a fertile plain...

, al-Farisiya, Khirbet al-Malih
Khirbet al-Malih
Khirbet al-Malih is a Palestinian hamlet of over 200 people in the Tubas Governorate of the northeastern West Bank, located east of Tubas.-History:...

, Kishda, Yarza, and Ras al-Far'a
Ras al-Far'a
Ras al-Far'a is a Palestinian town in the Tubas Governorate in the Northern area of the West Bank, located 5 kilometers South west of Tubas. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of over 701 inhabitants in mid-year 2006...

. Soon after the establishment of Tubas, Arabs from Najd
Najd
Najd or Nejd , literally Highland, is the central region of the Arabian Peninsula.-Boundaries :The Arabic word nejd literally means "upland" and was once applied to a variety of regions within the Arabian Peninsula...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and nearby Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, as well as Hebron
Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

, came to settle in the area. During this period, Tubas became the site of clashes between the 'Abd al-Hadi and Touqan
Touqan
Touqan is a prominent Palestinian & Jordanian family based in Nablus and Al-Salt. During Ottoman times they were the only household that ever came close to centralizing all of the District of Nablus under their rule, and their members held the post of district chief longer than did any other local...

 clans of Nablus and suffered incursions by Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

s from areas east of the city. The Jarrar clan did not inhabit, but administrated Tubas, as it was located within the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Mashariq al-Jarrar.

Tubas was one of the largest villages in the District of Nablus
District of Nablus
The District of Nablus also known as Sanjak Nablus is a historical administrative area that existed throughout Ottoman rule of Palestine and to a lesser extent during British rule. It exists today as the Nablus Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority...

. Most of the inhabitants resided in mud-built houses or tents, in order to work on their distant lands in the Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

 and to graze their sheep and goat flocks. According to traveler Herbert Rix, compared to other towns of its size in Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

, Tubas was "well-to-do" and had abundant amounts of timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

 which was harvested for firewood. Tubas, unlike the villages in the rest of the district, depended on livestock and not olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

s for income. Livestock products included cheese, clarified butter, woolen rugs, tents, ropes, and cloth bags.

The Palestine Exploration Fund
Palestine Exploration Fund
The Palestine Exploration Fund is a British society often simply known as the PEF. It was founded in 1865 and is still functioning today. Its initial object was to carry out surveys of the topography and ethnography of Ottoman Palestine with a remit that fell somewhere between an expeditionary...

 reported that the Samaritans believed that the tomb of Asher
Asher
Asher , in the Book of Genesis, is the second son of Jacob and Zilpah, and the founder of the Tribe of Asher.-Name:The text of the Torah argues that the name of Asher means happy/blessing, implying a derivation from the Hebrew term osher ; the Torah actually presents this in two variations—beoshri...

, known locally as Nabi Tota ("the good prophet"), was located in Tubas. The tomb served as a shrine in local Muslim tradition.

Modern era



In 1917, the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 captured Palestine from the Ottomans, and in 1922–23 Tubas was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1947, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 drew up a partition plan to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states; Tubas and the surrounding villages and hamlets were to be included in the Arab state. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

, Fawzi al-Qawuqji
Fawzi Al-Qawuqji
Fawzi al-Qawuqji was the field commander of the Arab Liberation Army during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War in Palestine, and a rival of the principal Palestinian Arab leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.-Biography:...

 led 750 Arab Liberation Army
Arab Liberation Army
The Arab Liberation Army , also translated as Arab Salvation Army, was an army of volunteers from Arab countries led by Fawzi al-Qawuqji...

 (ALA) soldiers to Tubas from Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 and set up base there; Tubas would serve as the ALA's headquarters in central Palestine throughout the war. Jordan annexed the city along with the entire West Bank, after gaining control of it during the war. Tubas was under their control until 1967, when Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 occupied the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 during the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

.

Tubas was transferred to Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 (PNA) control in 1995 under the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
The Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, also known as the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement, the Interim Agreement, Oslo 2, Oslo II, and Taba, was a key and complex agreement governing several aspects of the Palestinian territories of Gaza Strip and the West Bank.-History:It...

. During the Jordanian and Israeli periods, the city was under the administration of the Nablus Governorate
Nablus Governorate
The Nablus Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authoritylocated in the Central Highlands of the West Bank, 53km north of Jerusalem. It covers the area around the city of Nablus which serves as the muhfaza of the governorate...

, but in 1996, the PNA declared Tubas and the immediate area to be an electoral district, and later, an independent administrative area—the Tubas Governorate
Tubas Governorate
The Tubas Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authority in the northeastern West Bank. It district capital or muhfaza is the city of Tubas. In 2007, the population was 50,267.-Village councils:*Bardala*Ein al-Beida...

.

Tubas did not see as much violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 as nearby Nablus and Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

, but a number of incidents occurred during the Second Intifada, which began in 2000. In April 2002, the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 (IDF) killed six active Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 members in the town, including Ashraf Tamza Daraghmeh—the chief Hamas commander in Tubas and the surrounding area. On August 31, 2002, an Israeli Apache helicopter fired four Hellfire missiles at a civilian car suspected of carrying a local al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander and a nearby home. The strike instead killed five civilians, including two children, two teenagers and a 29-year-old Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 activist accused of being a member of the al-Aqsa Brigades. The Israeli Defense Minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
Binyamin Fuad Ben-Eliezer , , born 12 February 1936) is an Israeli politician and former military officer of Iraqi origin. He currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Labor Party, and has held several ministerial posts, including Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, Minister of...

, issued a statement expressing "regret" over "harming" civilians in Tubas. Ben-Eliezer described the raid in Tubas as a "mistake", and promised that the army would investigate the incident. On August 21, 2009, a clash between the Sawafta clan and another city clan left a member of the former dead and 38 others injured. Five homes were also burnt and Palestinian Security Forces
Palestinian Security Forces
The Palestinian National Security Forces, also referred to as the presidential guard are the paramilitary forces of the Palestinian National Authority...

 arrested five people in connection to the death.

Geography


Tubas is located in the upper hills of Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

 in the northern West Bank with an elevation of 362 metres (1,187.7 ft) above sea level, whereas most of the Tubas Governorate is located within the Jordan Valley
Jordan Valley (Middle East)
The Jordan Valley forms part of the larger Jordan Rift Valley. It is 120 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide, where it runs from Lake Tiberias in the north to northern Dead Sea in the south. It runs for an additional 155 kilometer south of the Dead Sea to Aqaba, an area also known as Wadi...

 to the south. In a 1945 land survey, Tubas along with nearby Bardala
Bardala
Bardala is a Palestinian village of 1,600 inhabitants in the Tubas Governorate, located thirteen kilometers northeast of Tubas and 28 kilometers northeast of Nablus.-History:...

 and Kardala
Kardala
Kardala is a Palestinian hamlet located in the Tubas Governorate, 13 kilometers northeast of Tubas adjacent to Bardala in the west and Ein al-Beida in the east. It had a population of 160 inhabitants in 2006. It is located on the eastern foothills of the northern Jordan Valley on a fertile plain...

 consisted of 313,123 dunam
Dunam
A dunam or dönüm, dunum, donum, dynym, dulum was a non-SI unit of land area used in the Ottoman Empire and representing the amount of land that can be plowed in a day; its value varied from 900–2500 m²...

s (31,312 hectares) of which 220,594 was Arab-owned and the remainder being public property. As of 2005, its total land area consists of 295,123 dunams (29,512 hectares), of which 2,271 is classified as built-up, roughly 150,000 used for agricultural purposes and about 180,000 confiscated by Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 for military bases and buffer zone.

Tubas is 21 kilometres (13 mi) northeast of Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

, 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) west of the Jordan River and 63 kilometres (39.1 mi) east of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. Nearby localities include the town of Aqqaba to the north, Tayasir
Tayasir
Tayasir is a Palestinian town in the Tubas Governorate in the northern West Bank. The town is located 22 kilometers northeast of Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Tayasir had a population of 2,400 inhabitants. It consists of 281 dunams...

 and Aqabah
Aqabah
Aqabah is a Palestinian village in the northeastern West Bank, which is being targeted for demolition by the Israeli Civil Administration...

 villages to the northeast, Ras al-Far'a
Ras al-Far'a
Ras al-Far'a is a Palestinian town in the Tubas Governorate in the Northern area of the West Bank, located 5 kilometers South west of Tubas. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of over 701 inhabitants in mid-year 2006...

 to the southwest, the Palestinian refugee camp of Far'a
Far'a
Far'a or al-Fari'ah is a Palestinian refugee camp in the foothills of the Jordan Valley in the northwestern West Bank, located 12 kilometers south of Jenin and 2 kilometers south of Tubas , three kilometers northwest of Tammun and 17 kilometers northeast of Nablus...

 to the south and the al-Bikai'a
Al-Bikai'a
al-Bikai'a also spelled al-Buqei'a is a Palestinian village cluster in the Tubas Governorate that includes the three hamlets of Khirbet al-'Atuf, al-Hadidiyah and al-Humsa. The area spans 29,250 dunams, most of which is covered by Khirbet al-'Atuf. It is situated on a flat plain surrounded by...

 village cluster to the southeast.

It has a moderate climate; the summer is hot and dry, and the winter is cold and wet. The average annual temperature is 21 °C (69.8 °F), and the average annual humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

 rate is 56%.

Demographics


Tubas had a population of 3,349 in 1922 which rose to 4,097 in 1931, according to a British Mandate census. In Sami Hadawi
Sami Hadawi
Sami Hadawi was a Palestinian scholar and author. He is known for documenting the effects of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on the Arab population in Palestine and published statistics for individual villages prior to Israel's establishment. Hadawi worked as a land specialist until he was exiled from...

's 1945 land and population survey, Tubas and nearby Bardala
Bardala
Bardala is a Palestinian village of 1,600 inhabitants in the Tubas Governorate, located thirteen kilometers northeast of Tubas and 28 kilometers northeast of Nablus.-History:...

 had a combined population of 5,530. In 1964, Tubas alone had a population of 5,880. About 1,100 residents fled Tubas after the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 mostly to the Souf refugee camp
Souf refugee camp
Souf Camp is a Palestinian refugee camp situated nearby the town of Souf and the city of Jerash in Jordan. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency , there was 21,900 people living in the camp in 2005, of which 20,530 were registered refugees.-History:Souf Camp is one of the six...

 in Jordan, while 260 emigrated there and in 1981 its population was 5,300.

In the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....

' (PCBS) first official census in 1997, Tubas had a population of 11,760 inhabitants. The gender make-up was 50.8% male and 49.2% female. Tubas has an overwhelmingly young population with 52.7% of the city's residents below the age of 20. People between the ages of 20 and 34 constitute 24.7%, 17.7% between the ages of 35 and 64, while people above the age of 64 constituted 4.9% of the population. The census also revealed that refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s made up 6.1% of the total residents.

In the PCBS's latest projection, Tubas had a population of 16,087 inhabitants in mid-year 2006, increasing by 32.6% from 1997 and 3.2% from 2005. The city represents roughly a third (33.4%) of the Tubas Governorate
Tubas Governorate
The Tubas Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authority in the northeastern West Bank. It district capital or muhfaza is the city of Tubas. In 2007, the population was 50,267.-Village councils:*Bardala*Ein al-Beida...

's total population. The city's modern-era founders—the Daraghmeh clan—constitute 70% of Tubas. The clan has several sub-families including Mslamany, Abd al-Razeq and Abu Khazaran. The Sawafta family make up 25%, the Husheh make up 3% and the Fuquha represent the remaining 2%. Nearly all of the inhabitants of Tubas are adherents of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, but there is a community of approximately 60 Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christian
Palestinian Christians are Arabic-speaking Christians descended from the people of the geographical area of Palestine. Within Palestine, there are churches and believers from many Christian denominations, including Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholic , Protestant, and others...

s, all following the Orthodox Christian Church.

Economy


The economical situation Tubas during the 1993–99 period was prosperous, however since the start of the Second Intifada in 2000–01, Tubas' income level has decreased by roughly 40%. Prior to the Intifada, the average household income was 2,500 NIS
Israeli new sheqel
The Israeli New Shekel is the currency of the State of Israel. The shekel is divided into 100 agorot...

, receding to about 1,500 NIS. A major factor that has resulted from the conflict was the confiscation of agricultural land located within the city's or its governorate's jurisdiction by Israeli settlements or military authorities. According to the PCBS, in 1999, approximately 52% of the citizens were within the working age (15-64). Of the city's labor force, 48% are females. The unemployment rate increased dramatically from 20% in 1999 to 70% after the year 2000. Prior to the Intifada, 35% of the total labor force worked in Israel.

Currently, agriculture constitutes 60% of Tubas' economic activity, public services comprise 17%, trade is 10%, Israeli labor is 8%, construction and industry make-up the remaining 5%. In the city, there are 240 shops and stores, 70 service institutions and 30 small factories.

Agriculture


The main economic sector in Tubas is agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

. There is a total of 150,000 dunams of arable
Arable land
In geography and agriculture, arable land is land that can be used for growing crops. It includes all land under temporary crops , temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens and land temporarily fallow...

 land, of which 124,450 dunams are covered by forests and 10,604 dunams cultivated. Although the land is fertile, there is a lack of water for irrigation. The only spring used is the nearby Ein Far'a
Far'a
Far'a or al-Fari'ah is a Palestinian refugee camp in the foothills of the Jordan Valley in the northwestern West Bank, located 12 kilometers south of Jenin and 2 kilometers south of Tubas , three kilometers northwest of Tammun and 17 kilometers northeast of Nablus...

. Field crops account for 49% of the cultivable land, while fruit orchards account for 40% and vegetables make-up 11%. Israeli trenches around the neighboring villages of Ras al-Ahmar and Khirbet al-'Atuf
Al-Bikai'a
al-Bikai'a also spelled al-Buqei'a is a Palestinian village cluster in the Tubas Governorate that includes the three hamlets of Khirbet al-'Atuf, al-Hadidiyah and al-Humsa. The area spans 29,250 dunams, most of which is covered by Khirbet al-'Atuf. It is situated on a flat plain surrounded by...

 prevent access to nearly 40% of Tubas' arable lands. Many Tubas residents keep livestock, mostly sheep; In 2005, there was a total 6,670 sheep. Other livestock owned, include 96 cattle, 880 goats and 126,500 poultry. In addition, 123 beehives were kept.

Government


Tubas serves as the muhfaza ("capital" or "seat") of the Tubas Governorate. Since 1995, Tubas has been located in Area A, giving the PNA full control over its security, administration and civilian affairs.

Tubas has been governed by a municipal council since 1953, when it was granted permission to do so by Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

ian authorities who controlled the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 at the time. The council is made up of 15 members including the mayor, and is headquartered in the municipal hall in the center of the town. The municipality has over 60 employees. Responsibilities of the municipality include civil administration, urban planning and development, social development services, distribution of social services, the issuing of building permits and infrastructural maintenance: water, electricity and solid waste collection.
Auqab Daraghmeh was succeeded by Jamal Abdel Fattah Mahmoud Abu Mohsin, an independent candidate, elected in the 2005 Palestinian municipal elections. During the elections women won two seats, and though Tubas is normally a Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 stronghold, all seats were won by independent political lists. The elected members of the Tubas municipal council are listed in the following table.
Rank List Candidate name
1 Independent Jamal Abu Mohsin
2 Independent Ahmad al-Masa'eed
3 Independent Jamal Dbabat
4 Independent Khaled Sawafta
5 Independent Mujahid Sawafta
6 Independent Ahmad Mslamani
7 Independent Izat Khalil Sawafta
8 Independent Zayad Sawafta
9 Independent Iman Abdullah Daraghmeh
10 Independent Majli Jamil Sawafta
11 Independent Ahmad Dababat
12 Independent Hasan Abu al-Ailah
13 Independent Iqab Daraghmeh
14 Independent Ahmad Fayez Sawafta
15 Independent Iman Mustafa Daraghmeh

Education


In 2004-05, Tubas had twelve schools; four for males, three for females and five co-educational. There were 4,924 students and 191 teachers. In addition, six kindergartens are located in the city, and have a total of 620 pupils. In 1997, the illiteracy rate was 14%; females comprised 78.3% of the illiterate population. Of the literate population, 25.7% completed elementary education, 23.3% completed preparatory
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

 education and 22.1% completed secondary or higher education. The Al-Quds Open University
Al-Quds Open University
Al-Quds Open University is an administratively, academically and financially independent public university. According to the university's website, it was established in Amman, Jordan, by a decree issued by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and started operating in the Palestinian territories...

 based in Jerusalem, has a campus in Tubas known as Al-Quds Open University-Tubas Educational Region. In 2006, 1,789 students were enrolled in the university, it had 90 professors and 24 other employees.

Local infrastructure


Tubas contains six mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s. The main mosques are the Abd ar-Rahan Mosque, the al-Tawled Mosque, Umar ibn al-Khattab Mosque, and Shaheed Mosque. The Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is also located in Tubas, in the northern part of the city. The church was built in 1976 to serve the small Orthodox Christian community. It consists of a prayer room, a fellowship hall, an office, and a library for children. The Sawafta family has an old palace in Tubas as well.

Since Tubas is the capital and largest city in the Tubas Governorate, it acts as the main provider of services to the towns and villages of the governorate. All Palestinian National Authority offices that serve the governorate are located in the city. There are 21 government institutions in Tubas, including a post office, the Palestinian Ministry of Labor office, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture office, the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs office, the fire department and a police station.

Transportation


Buses and taxis are the primary means of transportation in Tubas. The total length of paved roads is 10000 metres (32,808.4 ft), whereas there are 10000 metres (32,808.4 ft) of deteriorating paved roads and 25000 metres (82,021 ft) of road that are entirely unpaved. Tubas is located on Highway 588 connected to the main Ramallah-Nablus road (Highway 60)
Highway 60 (Israel)
Highway 60 is a north-south intercity road in Israel and the West Bank that stretches from Beersheba to Nazareth.-Route:The route is also known as the "Route of the Patriarchs" since it follows the path of the ancient highway that runs along the length of the central watershed, and which...

 by a network of northeastern offshoots of the road, that pass through the villages of Azmut
Azmut
’Azmut is a Palestinian town in the Nablus Governorate in the eastern West Bank, located five kilometers northeast of Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the town had a population of 2,724 inhabitants in mid-year 2006....

, al-Badhan
Al-Badhan
al-Badhan is a Palestinian village in the Nablus Governorate in the North central West Bank, located 14 kilometers Northeast of Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , the village had a population of 2,422 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.-References:...

 and Ras al-Far'a
Ras al-Far'a
Ras al-Far'a is a Palestinian town in the Tubas Governorate in the Northern area of the West Bank, located 5 kilometers South west of Tubas. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of over 701 inhabitants in mid-year 2006...

. It is connected to Jenin
Jenin
Jenin is the largest town in the Northern West Bank, and the third largest city overall. It serves as the administrative center of the Jenin Governorate and is a major agricultural center for the surrounding towns. In 2007, the city had a population of 120,004 not including the adjacent refugee...

 from a northern road which passes through 'Aqqaba, Zababdeh
Zababdeh
Zababdeh or Zababida is a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank located 15 km southeast of Jenin and 2 km from the Arab American University - Jenin. Its jurisdiction consists of 5,719 dunams, three-fifths being covered with olive and fig groves...

 and finally to Jenin. Travel to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 is through Highway 57
Highway 57 (Israel)
Highway 57 is an east-west highway through central Israel and the West Bank. In the past, it was an uninterrupted road from Netanya, a city on the Mediterranean coast in the west, to Damia Bridge across the Jordan River in the east. The road existed in its full length from the time of the British...

 which is connected with Highway 588 just to the south of Tubas.

Health care


The city contains five health centers run by various organizations including the Palestinian Red Crescent. There are no hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s in Tubas, nor in the Tubas Governorate; Residents must travel to Nablus for hospital treatment, but there are two ambulances in Tubas for emergency transportation. There are four clinics in the city: Two are run by non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s, one by the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 and one is privately-owned. The clinics lack modern equipment and specialists, however. In addition, ten pharmacies exist in Tubas.

Utilities


Approximately 60% of the residents have telephone connection, and roughly 90% are connected to the water. The Tubas Municipality administers all water resources in and around the city. In addition, to the water network there is one spring (Far'a
Far'a
Far'a or al-Fari'ah is a Palestinian refugee camp in the foothills of the Jordan Valley in the northwestern West Bank, located 12 kilometers south of Jenin and 2 kilometers south of Tubas , three kilometers northwest of Tammun and 17 kilometers northeast of Nablus...

) in the immediate area which is the main provider of water for use in households. The city also has a water reservoir with a capacity of 900 cubic meters. This is primarily used to provide water to the urban areas of city during Summer, and is only available once on a weekly basis.

From 1963 to 1997 local municipal-owned electric generators provided Tubas with all of its electricity needs. In 1997, the city connected with the Tubas Area Electricity Network which is provided by the Israeli Electric Cooperation. In that period, 99% of households in the city were connected with electricity. Solid waste management in Tubas is operated by the municipality and Joint Services Council. It is collected 3-4 times daily from the residential area, which is sent to a shared dumping site 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the city. The main disposal method used is burning. Tubas is not connected to the sewage network, therefore all households dispose of their waste water in cesspits, a major source of pollution in groundwater.

External links