Beit Hanoun

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Beit Hanoun
Arabic transcription(s)
   Arabic بيت حانون
   Latin Beit Hanun (official)
Bayt Hanun (unofficial)
BeitHanoun Logo.gif
Municipal Seal of Beit Hanoun
Palestine location map wide.png
Red pog.svg
Beit Hanoun
Location of Beit Hanoun within Palestine
Coordinates: 31°32′29″N34°32′11″E / 31.54139°N 34.53639°E / 31.54139; 34.53639 Coordinates: 31°32′29″N34°32′11″E / 31.54139°N 34.53639°E / 31.54139; 34.53639
Palestine grid 105/105
State State of Palestine
Governorate North Gaza
Government
  Type City
  Head of MunicipalityMohamad Nazek al-Kafarna
Area
  Total12,500  dunams (12.5 km2 or 4.8 sq mi)
Population
 (2006)
  Total32,187
  Density2,600/km2 (6,700/sq mi)
Name meaning"The house of Hanun" [1]
Website www.beithanoun.ps

Beit Hanoun or Beit Hanun (Arabic : بيت حانون) is a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 32,187 in mid-2006. [2] It is administered by the Hamas administration. It is located by the Hanoun stream, just 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) away from the Israeli town of Sderot. After 19 Palestinian civilians died during shelling by the IDF in 2006, the United Nations appointed a fact-finding commission, to be led by Desmond Tutu, to investigate if the shelling constituted a war crime; but the investigation was cancelled due to the lack of Israeli cooperation.

Gaza Strip region on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea

The Gaza Strip, or simply Gaza, is a self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, that borders Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers (6.8 mi) and Israel on the east and north along a 51 km (32 mi) border. Gaza and the West Bank are claimed by the State of Palestine.

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics Palestinas principal government institution in charge of statistics and census data

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the official statistical institution of the State of Palestine. Its main task is to provide credible statistical figures at the national and international levels. It is a state institution that provides service to the governmental, non – governmental and private sectors in addition to research institutions and universities. It is established as an independent statistical bureau. The PCBS publishes the Statistical Yearbook of Palestine and the Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook annually.

Governance of the Gaza Strip

The governance of the Gaza Strip is carried out by the Hamas administration, led by Ismail Haniyeh, from 2007, until 2014 and again from 2016. The Hamas administration is often referred to as the Hamas government in Gaza.

Contents

History

The 1239 Beit Hanoun battle, by Matthew Paris. Beit hanun 1239.jpg
The 1239 Beit Hanoun battle, by Matthew Paris.

According to a legend, Beit Hanoun was the capital of the Philistine King Hanoun, who fought the Assyrians in the 8th century BCE.[ citation needed ]

Assyria Major Mesopotamian East Semitic kingdom

Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC - spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East.

The Ayyubids defeated the Crusaders at a battle in Umm al-Nasser hill, just west of Beit Hanoun in 1239, and built the Umm al-Naser Mosque ("Mother of Victories Mosque") there in commemoration of the victory. [3] A Mamluk post office was located in Beit Hanoun as well. [4]

Crusades A series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period

The crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church. The best-known crusades are the campaigns in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries fought in the eastern Mediterranean, aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule. The term crusade is now also applied to other church-sanctioned and even non-religious campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early crusades the word did not exist, and it only much later became the leading descriptive term in English.

Mamluk Muslim slave soldiers

Mamluk is an Arabic designation for slaves. The term is most commonly used to refer to non-muslim slave soldiers and Muslim rulers of slave origin.

Ottoman era

Incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, Beit Hanoun appeared in the 1596 tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Gaza, part of Gaza Sanjak. It had a population of 36 Muslim households and paid a fixed tax rate of 33,3% on wheat, barley, summer crops, fruit trees, occasional revenues, goats and/ or beehives; a total of 9,300 akçe. [5]

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as the Roman Empire, and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state and caliphate that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

A defter was a type of tax register and land cadastre in the Ottoman Empire.

Gaza Sanjak

Gaza Sanjak was a sanjak of the Damascus Eyalet, Ottoman Empire. Its administrative center was within the Gaza City.

Pierre Jacotin named the village Deir Naroun on his map from 1799. [6]

Pierre Jacotin French geographer

Pierre Jacotin (1765–1827) was named director of all the surveyors and geographers working in the Nile Valley in 1799 during the campaign in Egypt of Napoleon. Later on, he also prepared maps of Palestine during Napoleon's campaign there.

In 1838 Edward Robinson passed by, and described how "all were busy with the wheat harvest; the reapers were in the fields; donkeys and camels were moving homewards with their high loads of sheaves; while on the threshing-floors near the village I counted not less than thirty gangs of cattle.." [7] He further noted it as a Muslim village, located in the Gaza district. [8]

Edward Robinson (scholar) American Biblical scholar

Edward Robinson was an American biblical scholar. He studied in the United States and Germany, a center of biblical scholarship and exploration of the Bible as history. He translated scriptural works from classical languages, as well as German translations. His Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament became a standard authority in the United States, and was reprinted several times in Great Britain.

Wheat Cereal grain

Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus Triticum; the most widely grown is common wheat.

In May 1863, the French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village. Among the gardens he observed indications of ancient constructions in the shape of cut stones, fragments of columns, and bases. [9] Socin found from an official Ottoman village list from about 1870 that Beit Hanoun had 94 houses and a population of 294, though the population count included men, only. [10] Hartmann found that Bet Hanun had 95 houses. [11]

In 1883 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described it as a small adobe village, "surrounded by gardens, with a well to the west. The ground is flat, and to the east is a pond beside the road." [12]

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Beit Hanoun had a population of 885 inhabitants, all Muslim, [13] decreasing in the 1931 census to 849, still all Muslims, in 194 houses. [14]

Beit Hanoun 1931 1:20,000 Beit Hanoun 1931.jpg
Beit Hanoun 1931 1:20,000
Beit Hanoun 1945 1:250,000 Beit Hanoun 1945.jpg
Beit Hanoun 1945 1:250,000

In the 1945 statistics Beit Hanun had a population of 1,680 Muslims and 50 Jews, with 20,025 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey. [15] [16] Of this, 2,768 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 697 were plantations and irrigable land, 13,186 used for cereals, [17] while 59 dunams were built-up land. [18]

Egyptian era

Members of Yiftach Brigade beside a mosque, Beit Hanoun, 1948 Beit Hanoun.jpg
Members of Yiftach Brigade beside a mosque, Beit Hanoun, 1948

In the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the vicinity of Beit Hanoun, and later Beit Hanoun itself, served as an Israeli tactical wedge (Beit Hanoun wedge) to halt the movement of the Egyptian army from Ashkelon to forces to the south in the area that later became the Gaza Strip.

While under control of Egyptian authorities, Egypt complained to the Mixed Armistice Commission that on the 7 and 14 October 1950 Israeli military Forces had shelled and machine-gunned the Arab villages of Abasan al-Kabera and Beit Hanoun in Egyptian controlled territory of the Gaza strip. According to Egypt this action caused the death of seven and the wounding of twenty civilians. [19]

Israeli occupation

The body a person killed in the home of 'Abd al-Hafez Hamad. Six members of one family were killed when their house was bombed on the night of 8 July 2014. The home of 'Abd al-Hafez Hamad. Six members of this family were killed when the house was bombed on the night of 8 July 2014.jpg
The body a person killed in the home of 'Abd al-Hafez Hamad. Six members of one family were killed when their house was bombed on the night of 8 July 2014.

According to the Palestinian Authority, 140 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in Beit Hanoun from September 2000 to November 2006. [21]

The Israeli army besieged Beit Hanoun from 15 May to 30 June 2003, during which it demolished dozens of houses, razed large areas of agricultural land and largely destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the town. [22] During the Raid on Beit Hanoun in 2004, the town was besieged for 37 days. About 20 Palestinians were killed and again immense damage was caused to property and infrastructure. The infrastructure of Beit Hanoun was heavily damaged during an incursion by Israeli forces in 2005. [23]

Following the removal of Israeli settlers from Gaza in August 2005 the 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun, killed 19 Palestinian civilians. In December 2006, the UN appointed a fact-finding commission led by Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to investigate the attack. However, Tutu and the other members were not granted permission to travel by Israel and the investigation was cancelled. [24] Tutu's final report to the United Nations human rights council [25] concluded, however, that "[I]n the absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military – who is in sole possession of the relevant facts – the mission must conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime." [26]

On 27 March 2007, sewage water flooded the northern Umm al-Nasser suburb of Beit Hanoun, killing five people. [27]

Beit Hanoun was hit several times by shells and rockets during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. The shelling of an UNWRA Elementary school by Israel killed 11-15 people, including women and children. [28] The Israeli Defense forces claimed that "the IDF encountered heavy fire in vicinity of the school, including anti-tank missile... [and] that an errant mortar did indeed land in the empty courtyard of the school." [29]

Educational and health institutions

There are twelve secondary, primary and agricultural schools in Beit Hanoun and an agricultural college which is related to al-Azhar University - Gaza. There is a medical center and hospital in the city and several clinics mostly managed by the United Nations. [30]

Demographics

In 1922, Beit Hanoun had a population of 885. [13] The population more than doubled by 1945. In that year, a land and population survey recorded 1,730 inhabitants including 50 Jews. [15] [16] In 1961, the population rose to 3,876. [31]

In the first official census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Beit Hanoun had a population of 20,780. Over 90% of the residents were Palestinian refugees. [32] There were 10,479 males and 10,301 females. People of 14 years of age or younger constituted the majority at 65.6%, people between the ages of 20 and 44 was 26.8%, 45 to 64 was 5.7% and residents above the age of 65 was 1.9%. [33]

See also

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References

  1. Palmer, 1881, p. 358
  2. Projected Mid -Year Population for North Gaza Governorate by Locality 2004– 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  3. Sharon, 1999, p. 98 ff
  4. "Beit Hanoon". Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  5. Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 147
  6. Karmon, 1960, p. 173
  7. Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, pp. 371 -372
  8. Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 118
  9. Guérin, 1869, p. 175, as noted by Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 247
  10. Socin, 1879, p. 146
  11. Hartmann, 1883, p. 129
  12. Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 233
  13. 1 2 Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Gaza, p. 8
  14. Mills, 1932, p. 2
  15. 1 2 Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 31
  16. 1 2 Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 45
  17. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 86
  18. Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 136
  19. UN Doc S/1459 [ permanent dead link ] of 20 February 1950 Report of the Mixed Armistice Commission
  20. "Gaza Strip, July 2014: A constant state of emergency". B'Tselem . Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  21. Palestinian Authority Archived 2007-01-19 at the Wayback Machine
  22. "Uprooting Palestinian Trees And Leveling Agricultural Land". PCHR . Archived from the original on 2013-10-21. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  23. European Commission report MED/2004/090-716 Damage Assessment: Beit Hanoun Area 17 December 2005
  24. BBC Israel 'blocks Tutu Gaza mission'. BBC News.
  25. HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES Report of the high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun established under Council resolution S-3/1
  26. Rory McCarthy. "Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun a possible war crime, Desmond Tutu tells UN". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  27. "Sewage flood causes Gaza deaths" . Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  28. "Israel Hits UN-Run Shelter, Gaza Officials Say" . Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  29. UNRWA, The Guardian Feature Article, 20 August 2014
  30. "Our City - Beithanoun Municipality". Archived from the original on 2012-02-16.
  31. "Welcome To Bayt Hanun" . Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  32. Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status Archived 2008-11-18 at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
  33. Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years Archived 2008-11-18 at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

Bibliography