Al Jib or al-Jib (Arabic: الجيب‎) is a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem Governorate, located ten kilometers northwest of Jerusalem,[3] in the seam zone of the West Bank.[4] The surrounding lands are home to Al Jib Bedouin. Since 1967, Al Jib has been occupied by Israel and about 90% of its lands are classified as Area C. About a quarter of the land is seized by Military Orders for the establishment of Israeli settlements. The neighborhood Al Khalayleh was separated by the West Bank barrier. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Al Jib had a population of approximately 4,700 in 2006.[5] The modern village is identified with the ancient city of Gibeon.

Al Jib
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicالجيب
 • Latinal-Jib (official)
al-Jeeb, el-Jib, el-Jeeb (unofficial)
View of Al Jib's center, 2012
View of Al Jib's center, 2012
Al Jib is located in the West Bank
Al Jib
Al Jib
Location of Al Jib within Palestine
Al Jib is located in State of Palestine
Al Jib
Al Jib
Al Jib (State of Palestine)
Coordinates: 31°50′59″N 35°11′6″E / 31.84972°N 35.18500°E / 31.84972; 35.18500Coordinates: 31°50′59″N 35°11′6″E / 31.84972°N 35.18500°E / 31.84972; 35.18500
Palestine grid167/139
State Palestine
 • TypeVillage council
 • Total9,879 dunams (9.9 km2 or 3.8 sq mi)
Elevation739 m (2,425 ft)
 (2006, approx.)
 • Total4,700
 • Density470/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Name meaningAl Jib, personal name[2]


Al Jib is a Palestinian village located 9.5 kilometers (5.9 mi) (horizontally) north-west of Jerusalem. It is bordered by Bir Nabala and Al Judeira to the east, Beituniya to the north, Beit Ijza and Biddu to the west, and An Nabi Samwil to the south.[1]


The 10th-century lexicographer, David ben Abraham al-Fasi, identified Al Jib with the ancient city, Gibeon, which view was corroborated also by the Hebrew Lexicon compiled by Wilhelm Gesenius and Frants Buhl ("now al-Ǧīb").[6] However, the first scientific identification of Al Jib with the ancient Canaanite city of Gibeon was made by Edward Robinson in 1838.[7][8] Archaeological excavations led by James Pritchard in 1956, 1957, and 1959 confirmed this identification with the discovery of 56 jar handles inscribed with the Semitic triliteral gb'n.[7] The inscriptions were dated to the end of the Judean monarchy and have been cross-referenced against genealogical lists in the Book of Chronicles. While they include many Benjaminite names, they also include non-Israelite names, attesting to the intermixing of local population.[7]

A vaulted building still remaining in the centre of Al Jib has been dated from between the mid-5th and mid-8th centuries CE.[9] The building has earlier been described as a church[10] from the Crusader era, with "total length of the chapel appears to have been 40 feet east and west, 22 feet north and south. The apses have been apparently built up. There were three bays of arches, and in the side walls are small doors with lintels".[11] D. Pringle dismissed the possibility that this was a former church, and suggest instead that it was an Umayyad palace building, or possibly dating from the Abbasid era.[12]

In 1152, during the Crusader era, a confrere of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Baldwin of Tournai, was granted a prebend relating to juxta Gabeon.[13] In 1172, after the fall of Jerusalem, Saladin halted at Al Jib, before continuing to Beit Nuba.[14]

El-Jib was described by the geographer Yâkût in 1225 as having two fortresses standing close together.[15]

Ottoman eraEdit

By the 1550s the agricultural revenues of Al Jib belonged to the endowment (waqf) of Mamluk Sultan Inal (r. 1453-61) in Egypt. However, three tribes of the Hutaym Bedouin were affiliated with the village. The taxes they paid plus levies normally earmarked for the military were in the 1550s designated for the waqf of Hasseki Sultan Imaret in Jerusalem.[16] In the 1596 tax-records it appeared as Jib, located in the Nahiya of Jabal Quds of the Liwa of Al-Quds. The population was 103 households,[17] large enough to be divided into four quarters.[18] The villagers paid a fixed tax-rate of 33,3% on agricultural products, including wheat, barley, olive trees, fruit trees, grape syrup or molasse, in addition to occasional revenues, goats and beehives; a total of 16,060 Akçe.[19]

In 1838 Edward Robinson described it as a village of moderate size, with the houses standing very irregularly and unevenly. He further noted "One large massive building still remains, perhaps a castle or tower of strength. The lower rooms a vaulted with round arches of hewn stones fitted together with great exactness. The stones outside are large; and the whole appearance is that of antiquity."[8] El-Jib was further noted as a Muslim village, part of the El-Kuds district.[20]

In 1863 Victor Guérin found that Al Jib had 500 inhabitants,[21] while an Ottoman village list from about 1870 found that the village had a population of 219, in a total of 65 houses, though that population count included men, only.[22][23]

In 1883, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as "on the end of a hill, rising 300 feet above the valley. On the south is a narrow plain, and there is an open valley on the east, whilst to the north and west there is also a flat plain. The hill is thus isolated, and a position naturally of great strength. The houses cover the northern part of the hill. The village is of moderate size, the houses of stone, with a central tower, and massive foundations exist among the modern buildings. On the east, rather lower than the village and a little below the top of the ridge, is the spring, which issues from a cave. Below it are remains of a good-sized reservoir. There are many springs on the south and west, and caves in the southern side of the hill. Olives, figs, pears, apples, and vines are cultivated round the village and in the plain; there are also extensive corn-fields in the low ground."[24]

In 1896 the population of Ed-dschib was estimated to be about 567 persons.[25]

British Mandate eraEdit

Al Jib, 1938-39

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Jib had a population 465, all Muslims,[26] increasing in the 1931 census to 643, still all Muslim, in 153 houses.[27]

In the early 1930s, Grace Mary Crowfoot noted how the women of Al Jib and Kafr al-Labad made pottery (without a wheel), looking much like ware made in the 8th and 7th BCE.[28]

In the 1945 statistics, Al Jib had a population of 830 Muslims,[29] and a total land area of 8,205 dunams.[30] 1,132 dunams were designated for plantations and irrigable land, 4,754 for cereals,[31] while 57 dunams were built-up area.[32]

Jordanian eraEdit

in the wake of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Al Jib came under Jordanian rule.

In 1961, the population of Jib was 1,123.[33]

Post 1967Edit

Since the 1967 Six-Day war, al-Jib has been under Israeli occupation. The population in the 1967 census conducted by the Israeli authorities was 1,173, 27 of whom originated from Israeli territory.[34]

Since 1967, Israel has confiscated 26.6% of Al Jib’s lands to establish large urban Israeli settlements Givon (1978), Giv'on HaHadashah (1980) and Giv'at Ze'ev (1982).[35]

Under the 1995 Oslo II Accord, 7.5% of the total village area was classified as Area B, and the remaining 92.5% became Area C, under full Israeli control.[35]

Separation wallEdit

The barrier in northern Jerusalem, which confines Al Jib to an enclave under Israeli control.

In 2005, Israel started the construction of a separation barrier around Al Jib, al-Judeira, Bir Nabala, Beit Hanina al-Balad and Kalandiya.[36] The wall was built on Palestinian land seized by Military Orders.[37] The wall completely surrounds the villages, forming an enclave.[4] One effect is that it prevents the Palestinian residents without Israeli citizenship or permanent residency cards from using the nearby road-system serving Jerusalem and nearby Israeli settlements.

The wall has also divided the village of Al Jib. Part of their farm-land lies on the other side of the wall and only a limited number of residents have limited access. A complete neighborhood, Al Khalayleh, with an estimated population of 700 citizens, is now located west of the Wall in a separate enclave between Israeli settlements. In April 2012, Israel demolished a number of houses in Al Khalayleh and displaced 67 Palestinian refugees from the neighborhood, most of whom were children. About half of Al Jib's total area, including Al Khalayleh, is located on the other side of the barrier.[35][better source needed]

Israel claims that it intends to build two alternate roads that will link the enclave to the rest of the West Bank to prevent its complete isolation. One will connect the enclave with Ramallah, which lies to its north, while the other will connect Al Jib to the Bedouin area, which lies to its west, by means of three underground passageways and two bridges. The road's construction will require complex engineering work and will cost tens of millions of shekels, so it is likely that the project will take a long time, if ever, to complete[35][36]

B'Tselem points out that because thousands of the enclave's residents hold Israeli identity cards, they are entitled to free access to East Jerusalem by law, and that the barrier thus "will severely impair [their] human rights" by cutting off direct access.[36]


Al Jib is on the list of "Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites in the West Bank Governorates" compiled by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOCIP) of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) due to the excavations of ancient Gibeon.[38] During the second Intifada, the Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE) brought together Palestinian youth and elders from the surrounding villages to repair and restore the ancient water pool and other sites around the village.[39]


  1. ^ a b Al Jib Village Profile, ARIJ, 2012, p. 4
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 296
  3. ^ Mariam Shahin (2005). Palestine: A Guide. Interlink Books. p. 335. ISBN 1-56656-557-X.
  4. ^ a b "West Bank Closures - Jerusalem" (PDF). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. March 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
  5. ^ Projected Mid -Year Population for Jerusalem Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Archived February 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  6. ^ Solomon Skoss, The Hebrew-Arabic Dictionary of the Bible known as Kitab Jami al-Alfaz (Agron) of David ben Abraham Al-Fasi, the Karaite (New Haven: Yale 1936), introd. p. xxxviii.
  7. ^ a b c Brooks, 2005, pp. 93-94.
  8. ^ a b Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 2, pp. 136-137
  9. ^ Pringle, 1993, p. 279
  10. ^ Guérin, 1868, p. 385
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 100
  12. ^ Pringle, 1983, p. 158
  13. ^ de Roziére, 1849, p. 242, No. 130; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, pp. 68-69, No. 271; cited in Pringle, 1983, p. 145
  14. ^ Behâ ed-Dîn, 1897, p. 360, cited in Pringle, 1983, p. 145
  15. ^ Le Strange, 1890, p. 464
  16. ^ Singer, 2002, p. 49
  17. ^ According to Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 122, all the inhabitants were Christian. According to Toledano, 1984, pp. 311-314, the population of Al Jib was Muslim, as Al Jib never had a Christian population in the sixteenth century.
  18. ^ Toledano, 1984, p. 311
  19. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 122
  20. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 121
  21. ^ Guérin, 1868, pp. 385-391
  22. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 153 It was also noted to be in the El-Kuds district
  23. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 127, also noted 65 houses
  24. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 10
  25. ^ Schick, 1896, p. 121
  26. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Jerusalem, p. 15
  27. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 40
  28. ^ Crowfoot, 1932, pp. 179187
  29. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 25
  30. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 57 Archived 2011-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 103 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 153 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics, 1964, p. 23
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ a b c d Al Jib Village Profile, ARIJ, 2012, pp. 17-20
  36. ^ a b c High Court approves Bir Nabalah enclave. B'Tselem, 26 November 2006
  37. ^ Israel’s Segregation Wall Encircles Three Palestinian Villages in Northwest Jerusalem Archived 2007-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. ARIJ, 7 May 2005
  38. ^ "List of Palestinian Cultural & Archeological Sites". Jerusalem Media and Communication Center. Archived from the original on 2007-04-19. Retrieved 2007-05-12.
  39. ^ Adel Yahya (18 February 2004). "Palestinian Work to Preserve Historic Sites" (PDF). The Daily Star's Outlook Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 4, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-12.


External linksEdit