Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicعنبتا
 • Latin'Anabta (official)
'Anabta and Iktaba (unofficial)
View of Anabta
View of Anabta
Anabta is located in State of Palestine
Location of Anabta within Palestine
Anabta is located in the West Bank
Anabta (the West Bank)
Coordinates: 32°18′26″N 35°07′01″E / 32.30722°N 35.11694°E / 32.30722; 35.11694Coordinates: 32°18′26″N 35°07′01″E / 32.30722°N 35.11694°E / 32.30722; 35.11694
Palestine grid161/190
StateState of Palestine
 • TypeMunicipality
 • Head of MunicipalityHamdallah. H. Hamdallah
 • Total7,329
Name meaninggrapes[1]

Anabta (Arabic: عنبتا) is a Palestinian town in the Tulkarm Governorate in the northern West Bank, located 9 kilometers east of Tulkarm. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Anabta had a population of 7,329 inhabitants in 2007.[2] Anabta is administered by a municipal council and is one of the oldest municipalities in the Tulkarm Governorate.[3]


The name is derived from the word Enabta, which meant "grape" or "berry" in Aramaic and Syriac.[4] Many grape presses have been found in the hills around the village.[3]


Roman and Byzantine era[]

Sherds from the Hellenistic, early and late Roman and the Byzantine eras have been found here.[5]

During Roman and Byzantine rule, Anabta was a Samaritan village.[6] A tradition connects the village with Dositheos, a Samaritan religious leader possibly active during the 1st-century CE.[5] The Samaritan chronicler Abu l-Fath (14th century) mentions that Dositheos died of starvation after going to 'Anbata where he hid in a cave, fasting in an effort to gain wisdom.[7] Some olive trees still existing in Anabta are said to date back to Roman times.

According to the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine, the site appeared "ancient",[8] and rock-cut tombs and a tank of good masonry had been found.[9][10]

Pottery sherds from the early Muslim and Medieval eras have also been found here.[5]

Mamluk and Ottoman eras[]

During the reign of Mamluk Sultan Baibars al-Bunduqdari in the 13th century, Anabta served as a central staging point from which to supply the Muslim armies fighting Crusader and Mongol incursions. The location was chosen because it was considered relatively easy to protect as the area is nestled between two large hills.[3]

During Ottoman rule, Anabta was listed in the 1596 Ottoman tax register as being in the Nahiya of Jabal Sami of the Liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 55 Muslim households who paid a fixed tax rate of 33,3% on wheat, barley, summer crops, olives, goats or beehives, and presses for grapes or olives; a total of 13,757 akçe.[11]

In 1852, the American scholar Edward Robinson visited the village. He described it as "large and well built", with two watermills by the stream. There were many camels there, as the village was on the main route for camels from Nablus to Ramleh.[12] In 1882, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a village of moderate size, in the valley, with olives around it. It also had a mill.[8] A portion of the Hejaz Railway used to run through the centre of the town, parallel to the main street.[3]

British Mandate era[]

Anabta. 1945. Survey of Palestine. Scale 1:250,000.

The first local council in Anabta was established in 1922 during the mandate period.[13][14] In the 1936 Anabta shooting, on the night of April 15, 1936, a prelude to the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine, about 20 vehicles traveling on the road outside Anabta were stopped at a road block constructed for the purpose by armed villagers, and forced to hand over weapons and cash. 3 Jewish drivers were separated from the non-Jewish drivers and shot, 2 died of their injuries, the third survived.[15][16] In June, an attack by Arab irregulars on a civilian bus convoy escalated into the Battle of Anabta, a brief but intense fight between Arab militants and the British army involving air attacks on the Arab fighters.[17] On October 12, 1936, when the rebellion stopped, the Daily Telegraph reporter described the village during his visit to it, he said: "Anabta, the scene of several encounters between British troops and Arabs, was the only place through which I passed where the inhabitants showed truculence".[18]

Anabta 1947

Jordanian era[]

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Anabta came under Jordanian rule.

In 1954, Anabta became a municipal council.[3]

In 1961, the population of Anabta was 4,018.[19]


Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Anabta has been under Israeli occupation. Shortly after the war, Anabta underwent major development and achieved local council status.[20] According to Israel's Ministry of Defense, the village was connected to the Israeli electric grid.[21] Anabta lies on the edge of the Tulkarm district's Area A, an administrative division of the 1995 Oslo Accords, which means the city became under full security and civil jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority.[citation needed]


Anabta is located 19 kilometers west of Nablus and 9 kilometers east of Tulkarm. The town is bordered to the north by the village of Kafr Rumman, the south by the town of Kafr al-Labad, the east by the village of Ramin and the northwest by the town of Bal'a. The city is elevated 150 meters above sea level.[3][22] Surrounded by hills on all sides, a small valley that runs through the center of the town.[3] The town has an urban area of about 1,300 dunams. Most of its exterior lands are planted with olives, figs and almonds or covered by forests. Water is provided by five underground wells, with distribution supervised by the town's municipality.[23] The Israeli settlement Einav is located southeast of the city and an Israeli checkpoint is positioned at the eastern entrance of the town.[24]


By an 1870 visitor, the population was estimated at 1,800.[25] At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine, Anabta had a population of 1,606 Muslims.[26] In the 1931 census of Palestine, the combined population of Anabta, Iktaba and Nur ash Shams was 2498; 2,457 Muslims, 34 Christians and 1 Druze living in 502 houses.[27] In 1945, the combined population of Anabta and Iktaba was 3,120.[28][29] Between 1922 and 1947, the population increased by 110%.[30]

In 1967, the population was 3,400, rising to 5,700 by 1987 and 8,300 by 2009.[23]

Residents of Anabta belong to two large clans, 'Amr and Al-Jetawi. These families are then divided into smaller families.[31] Anabta also contains a significant population of Palestinians from Gaza who are not classified among the families.


The town has two high schools and four elementary schools that are maintained and funded by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education.[3]

Health care[]

The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group operates a clinic in Anabta envisaged as a centre for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy in the northern West Bank.[32]

Notable residents, or people from Anabta[]


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 178
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS). p. 108.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Anabta Archived 2011-09-03 at the Wayback Machine Anabta Municipality entry titled "عنبتا" (Arabic)
  4. ^ Ran Zadok (1985). "Notes on Modern Palestinian Toponymy". Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins. 101 (2): 156–161. JSTOR 27931263.
  5. ^ a b c Zertal, 2004, p. 370
  6. ^ Tsafrir, Di Segni and Green, 1994, p. 62
  7. ^ Alan David Crown (1989). The Samaritans. Mohr Siebeck. p. 320. ISBN 978-3-16-145237-6. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  8. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 158
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 170
  10. ^ Dauphin, 1998, p. 762
  11. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 127
  12. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1856, pp. 125-126
  13. ^ Government of Palestine (1926). Blue Book: Contains also Civil list, Meteorological observations, Communications, Statistics, etc. Palestine. p. 39. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  14. ^ Official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No. 71, 15 July 1922, pp. 7–8}}
  15. ^ 'Nablus Banidits Seen as Izz ed Din's followers', Palestine Post, Friday, 17 April 1936.
  16. ^ Israel's secret wars: A history of Israel's intelligence services, Ian Black
  17. ^ Michael Williams (25 October 1936). Commonweal. Commonweal Pub. Corp. p. 266. Retrieved 14 June 2011. A number of casualties were reported from Palestine as clashes between Arabs and British troops occurred in the Tel Aviv region. The most serious occurrence was a battle at Anabta involving bombers.
  18. ^ "Anabta, the scene of several encounters between British troops and Arabs". Royal Lincolnshire Regiment. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  19. ^ Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics, 1964, p. 13
  20. ^ Ori Stendel (1968). Arab villages in Israel and Judea-Samaria (the West Bank): a comparison in social development. Israel Economist. p. 30. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  21. ^ Israel. Miśrad ha-biṭaḥon (1968). The Israel administration in Judaea, Samaria and Gaza: a record of progress. Ministry of Defence. p. 53. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  22. ^ Tulkarem: town listing in a snapshot Palestine Remembered
  23. ^ a b The city of Tulkarem and its villages(in Arabic) Palestine Information Centre.
  24. ^ Map of the Separation Barrier in the West Bank B'Tselem
  25. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 213 A cinq kilomètres au nord-oest du Kharbet Kefr Lebed, un grand village, occupant à la fois un vallon et un monticule, compte 1,800 habitants; il se nomme A'nebta, Plusieurs citernes et quelques tombeaux antiques creusés dans le roc attestent qu'il a succédé à une ancienne ville, dont la Bible ne parle pas.
  26. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p.27
  27. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 53
  28. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 74
  29. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 20
  30. ^ Transformation in Arab Settlement, Moshe Brawer, in The Land that Became Israel: Studies in Historical Geography, Ruth Kark (ed), Magnes Press, Jerusalem 1989, p.177
  31. ^ [1] Anabta Family Tree[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ Anabta eye clinic
  33. ^ Palestinian PM who resigned is asked again to form government, 13 Aug 2013.
  34. ^ "New Palestinian Authority government carbon copy of old". Los Angeles Times. 19 September 2013. Archived from the original on 20 September 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  35. ^ Rami Hamdallah


External links[]