Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicعناتا
 • LatinAnata (official)
'Anata, around 1859[1]
'Anata, around 1859[1]
'Anata is located in State of Palestine
Location of 'Anata within Palestine
Coordinates: 31°48′46″N 35°15′43″E / 31.81278°N 35.26194°E / 31.81278; 35.26194Coordinates: 31°48′46″N 35°15′43″E / 31.81278°N 35.26194°E / 31.81278; 35.26194
Palestine grid174/135
StateState of Palestine
 • TypeVillage council
 • Head of MunicipalityAhmad Kamil Alrifai
 • Total30,603 dunams (30.6 km2 or 11.8 sq mi)
 • Total9,600
 • Density310/km2 (810/sq mi)
Name meaningAnata, personal name[2]
Anata region as of late 2014

'Anata (Arabic: عناتا) is a Palestinian town in the Jerusalem Governorate in the central West Bank, located four kilometers northeast of Jerusalem's Old City. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 'Anata had a population of 9,600 in 2006.[3] Its total land area is 30,603 dunams, of which over half now lies within the Israeli Jerusalem municipality and 1,654 is Palestinian built-up area.[4] Since 1967, 'Anata has been occupied by Israel. Together with Shu'afat refugee camp, the village is almost surrounded by the separation barrier, cutting it off from Jerusalem and surrounding villages except for a checkpoint in the west and a road in the north-east that gives access to the rest of the West Bank.[5]


'Anata is a village on an ancient site, old stones have been reused in village homes, and cisterns dug into rock have been found, together with caves and ancient agricultural terraces.[6]

Bronze and Iron Ages[]

Edward Robinson identified 'Anata with Biblical Anathoth, birthplace of Jeremiah, in his Biblical researches in Palestine.[7] An alternative etymology links the toponym to the Canaanite goddess Anat.[8]

Byzantine period[]

There are ruins of a Byzantine-era church in the town, proving that it was inhabited prior to the Muslim conquest of Palestine by the Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century.[9][10]

Ayyubid period[]

Ahead of the 1187 Muslim siege of Jerusalem against the Crusaders, Saladin, the Ayyubid general and sultan, situated his administration in 'Anata before he proceeded towards Jerusalem.[4]

Ottoman period[]

The village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1516 with all of Palestine, and in 1596 'Anata appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Quds of the Liwa of Quds. It had a population of 10 Muslim households. The villagers paid a fixed tax rate of 40 % on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, summer crops, olive trees, fruit trees, goats and/or bee hives; a total of 9,300 Akçe. All of the revenue went to a Waqf.[11]

The village was destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha in 1834 following a pro-Ottoman Arab revolt against Egyptian rule.[4] In 1838 Anata was noted as a Muslim village, located north of Jerusalem.[12][7]

When W. M. Thomson visited it in the 1850s, he described it as a "small, half-ruined hamlet, but it was once much larger, and appears to have had a wall around it, a few fragments of which are still to be seen."[13]

In 1863 Victor Guérin visited the village and described it as being a small, situated on a hill, and with 200 inhabitants.[14] Socin found from an official Ottoman village list from about 1870 that 'Anata had 25 houses and a population of 70, though the population count included men, only.[15][16] According to information received by Clermont-Ganneau in 1874, the village was settled by Arab families from Khirbet 'Almit, a mile to the northeast.[9][17]

In 1883, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a "village of moderate size, the houses of stone; it stands on a ridge commanding a fine view to the north and east. ...There are a few olives round the village, and a well on the west and another on the south-east."[18]

In 1896 the population of 'Anata was estimated to be about 180 persons.[19]

British Mandate period[]

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, 'Anata had a population of 285, all Muslim,[20] increasing in the 1931 census to 438, still all Muslim, in 98 houses.[21]

In the 1945 statistics 'Anata had a population of 540 Muslims,[22] with 18,496 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.[23] Of this, 353 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 2,645 used for cereals,[24] while 35 dunams were built-up land.[25]

Jordanian period (1948-1967)[]

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, 'Anata came under Jordanian rule.

The Jordanian census of 1961 found 852 inhabitants in 'Anata.[26]

Israeli and PA period (1967-current)[]

Anata' Aerial photo

After the Six-Day War in 1967, 'Anata has been under Israeli occupation.[27] The population in the 1967 census conducted by the Israeli authorities was 1,260, 121 of whom originated from the Israeli territory.[28] At the time of the conquest Anata was one of the most expansive towns in the West Bank, extending from Jerusalem to the wadis near Jericho. Most of its land was confiscated to create the Israeli military base at Anatot, 4 Israeli settlements and several illegal Israeli outposts.[8]

After the 1995 accords, about 3.8% of the land (or 918 dunams) is classified as being Area B, while the remaining 96.2 % (or 23,108 dunams) is Area C.[29] Most of the lands of 'Anata have been confiscated by Israel.[27] Of the 1877 dunums which remain in residents' hands, after creation of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994, 957 dunums became part of Area B, 220 dunums part of Area C, and 700 dunums have been declared a closed military zone by the Israeli authorities.[27] The Dahyat as-Salam neighbourhood has been annexed by Israel as part of the Jerusalem municipality.[27] The village boundaries are far-reaching and stretch from 'Anata itself to just east of the Israeli settlement of Alon.[30] Most of the land is undeveloped open space with little or no vegetation.[30]

According to ARIJ, Israel has confiscated land from 'Anata for the construction of 4 Israeli settlements:

Ayn Fara, the Palestinian village’s natural pool and spring, was absorbed into the Israeli Ein Prat Nature Reserve.[8]

Main families[]

The families are Shiha, Abd al-Latif, Ibrahim, Alayan, Hilwa, Salama, Hamdan, Abu Haniya Musah and al-Kiswani. The latter family fled to 'Anata during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[4]


'Anata, between 1900 and 1920

'Anata contains two sanctuaries, dedicated to Saleh and possibly Jeremiah. The former is a mosque dedicated to the prophet Saleh (Biblical Shelah), but Saleh's tomb is believed to be in the village of Nabi Salih to the northwest. The latter sanctuary is a cave dedicated to a "Rumia" which according to Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau, "looks as if it had been connected by the folklore with the name Jeremiah, the initial 'je' being removed by aphaeresis as so frequently happens in Arabic." This signifies that it is very possible that "Rumia" is an Arabicized form of "Jeremiah".[9][17]

Local administration[]

Before 1996, 'Anata was governed by a mukhtar. Since then a village council was established to govern the town.[4]


  1. ^ Thomson, 1859, vol 2, p. 549
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 283
  3. ^ Projected Mid -Year Population for Jerusalem Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Archived 2012-02-07 at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  4. ^ a b c d e 'Anata Town Profile Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem. 21 July 2004.
  5. ^ Btselem (Nov 2014) Map of the West Bank, Settlements and the Separation Barrier
  6. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 899
  7. ^ a b Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, p. 109
  8. ^ a b c Nathan Thrall, 'A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: One man’s quest to find his son lays bare the reality of Palestinian life under Israeli rule,' New York Review of Books 19 March 2021:'the town of Anata was once among the most expansive in the West Bank, stretching eastward from the tree-lined mountains of Jerusalem down to the pale yellow hills, rocky canyons, and desert wadis at the edge of the district of Jericho, in the Jordan Valley. Today, Anata is much smaller, the bulk of its lands confiscated to create the Israeli military base of Anatot, four official settlements, and several unauthorized settler outposts.'
  9. ^ a b c Sharon, 1999, p. 87
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 82
  11. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 117
  12. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 122
  13. ^ Thomson, 1859, vol 2, p. 548
  14. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 76 ff
  15. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 143
  16. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 127 noted 52 houses
  17. ^ a b Clermont-Ganneau, 1896, vol 2, pp. 276-7
  18. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, pp. 7-8
  19. ^ Schick, 1896, p. 121
  20. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 14
  21. ^ Mills,1932, p. 37
  22. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 24
  23. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 56
  24. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 101
  25. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 151
  26. ^ Government of Jordan, 1964, p. 23
  27. ^ a b c d "Anata". Grassroots Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  28. ^ Perlmann, Joel (November 2011 – February 2012). "The 1967 Census of the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Digitized Version" (PDF). Levy Economics Institute. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  29. ^ 'Anata Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 18
  30. ^ a b Land Use/Land Cover Map of 'Anata Village Boundary (Map). Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 2005-12-22. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  31. ^ a b c d 'Anata Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 19


External links[]