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Kafr Thulth (Arabic: كفر ثلث‎) is a Palestinian town located on high, flat land south of Azzoun, 28 kilometers (17 mi) south of Tulkarm in the Qalqilya Governorate. The average elevation is 270 meters (890 ft) above sea level. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town's population was 3,921[2] in the 2007 census.

Kafr Thulth
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicكفر ثلث
 • LatinKufr Thulth (official)
Kafr Thulth from the east
Kafr Thulth from the east
Kafr Thulth is located in the Palestinian territories
Kafr Thulth
Kafr Thulth
Location of Kafr Thulth within Palestine
Coordinates: 32°9′9″N 35°2′39″E / 32.15250°N 35.04417°E / 32.15250; 35.04417Coordinates: 32°9′9″N 35°2′39″E / 32.15250°N 35.04417°E / 32.15250; 35.04417
Palestine grid154/173
StateState of Palestine
 • TypeMunicipality
 • Head of MunicipalityHussein al-Saifi
 • Total24,938 dunams (24.9 km2 or 9.6 sq mi)
Elevation173 m (568 ft)
 • Total3,921
 • Density160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Name meaning"The ruin of the village of the third part"[3]



Kafr in Syriac means "village" and Thulth means "three" or "a third".[3] This Syriaic name preserves the place name of Baal-shalisha,[4] an ancient village believed to have been located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the south at a site known in modern times as Khirbat Sirisya.[5]


Map of path of the separation barrier around the Qalqilya and Hableh-Ras Atiya enclaves and the proposed path around Kafr Thulth

Kafr Thulth is bordered by Azzun to the south, Sanniriya and Biddya villages to the east and Deir Istiya to the west. In 1948, parts of Kharab and Aizab, such as, Salman, al-Moudwer, al-Sheikh Ahmad, al-Ashqar, Ras Tirah, al-Dabha, Kirash Kherba and Ras Atiya — villages or land areas that originally belonged to Kafr Thulth were separated from the town by the Green Line, which forms the border between Israel and the West Bank.

Kafr Thulth's land was extended to the border of the Auja stream and by the 19th century the town's total land area was about 50-60,000 dunams. It had bordered Habla, Jaljuliya, Azzun and Islah, but Kafr Thulth's jurisdiction decreased in 1954; Then, the distance was 924 dunams, while the distance reached up to Kherash Kherba that belong to Kafr Thulth 3,665 dunams.


Ottoman eraEdit

In 1517, the village was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with the rest of Palestine, and in 1596, Kafr Tult appeared in Ottoman tax registers as being in nahiya (subdistrict) of Jabal Qubal under the liwa' (district) of Nablus. It had a population of 13 households and 1 batchelor, all Muslims. They paid a fixed tax rate of 33,3%, on wheat, barley, summer crops, occasional revenues, goats and/or beehives; a total of 1,100 akçe.[6]

In 1838, Kafr Thulth was included in a village list drawn up by Edward Robinson, part of Jurat Merda, south of Nablus, named as Kefr Telet.[7]

In 1852, Robinson described Kafr Thulth as "a ruin",[8] and the same did Victor Guérin in 1870.[9] However, later researchers have noted that both only saw Kafr Thulth from a distance, and might have had it mixed up with the ruin Kufr Qara.[10]

In 1882 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described the village (called Khurbet Kefr Thilth) as "a small village on high ground, with two wells. It was in ruins in 1852, but has now a few inhabitants, the ground round is rough and uncultivated."[4]

British Mandate eraEdit

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Kufr Thelth had a population of 643, all Muslims,[11] while in the 1931 census Kafr Thulth, (including Khirbat Khris), had 169 occupied houses and a population of 955, still all Muslim.[12]

In the 1945 statistics the population of Kafr Thulth was 1290 Muslims.[13][14]

Land ownership in 1945Edit

Ethnic group Land ownership (dunums)[13][14]
Arab 24,851
Jewish 82
Public 5
Total 24,938

Land usage in 1945Edit

Land usage type[13][15] Arab (dunum) Jewish (dunum)
Irrigated and plantation 1,629 0
Area planted with olives 1,921 0
Planted with cereals 6,329 62
Built up[16] 55 0
Cultivable 7,958 62
Non-cultivable 16,843 20
Lands usurped within armistice area 0 1,241 dunums

Jordanian eraEdit

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

In 1961, the population of Kafr Thulth was 1,213.[17]


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Kafr Thulth has been under Israeli occupation.

After the 1995 accords, about 10.7% of the land is classified as being Area B, while the remaining 89.3 % is Area C.[18] Israel has confiscated 367 dunums of village land for the construction of the Israeli settlements of Karne Shomron, Ginot Shomron, Ma’ale Shomron and Emmanuel, in addition to taking land for the construction of the Segregation Wall.[19]


  1. ^ Kafr Thulth Town Profile (including ‘Arab al Khawla Locality), ARIJ, p. 4
  2. ^ a b Census 2007 Locality Population Statistics Archived 2010-12-10 at the Wayback Machine. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  3. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 234
  4. ^ a b Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 285
  5. ^ Freedman et al., 2000, p. 136.
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 132
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, 2nd appendix, p.126
  8. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1856, p. 136
  9. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 176
  10. ^ Grossman and Safrai, 1980, p. 453.
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Nablus, p. 26
  12. ^ Mills, 1931, p. 65
  13. ^ a b c Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 21
  14. ^ a b Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 75
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 126
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 176
  17. ^ Government of Jordan, 1964, p. 27
  18. ^ Kafr Thulth Town Profile (including ‘Arab al Khawla Locality), ARIJ, p. 16
  19. ^ Kafr Thulth Town Profile (including ‘Arab al Khawla Locality), ARIJ, p. 17


External linksEdit