Neve Daniel (Hebrew: נְוֵה דָּנִיֵּאל) is an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Located in western Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem and just west of Bethlehem, it sits atop one of the highest points in the area - close to 1,000 meters above sea level, and has a view of much of the Mediterranean coastal plain, as well as the mountains of Jordan. In 2019 it had a population of 2,322. It is organised as a community settlement and falls under the jurisdiction of Gush Etzion Regional Council.

Neve Daniel
Neve Danyal entrance.jpg
Neve Daniel is located in the Southern West Bank
Neve Daniel
Neve Daniel
Coordinates: 31°40′37″N 35°08′37″E / 31.67694°N 35.14361°E / 31.67694; 35.14361Coordinates: 31°40′37″N 35°08′37″E / 31.67694°N 35.14361°E / 31.67694; 35.14361
DistrictJudea and Samaria Area
CouncilGush Etzion
RegionWest Bank
Founded18 July 1982
Neve Daniel

The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this.[2]


Neve Daniel

Neve Daniel was established on 18 July 1982 on the site of The Cohen Farm. The Cohen Farm was founded on September 6, 1935, on lands purchased from Arab residents of Bethlehem, that were transferred to the Jewish National Fund in 1943.[3][4] The farm was abandoned during the Arab riots, and remained under Jordanian control until 1967.

According to ARIJ, Israel confiscated land from two nearby Palestinian villages in order to construct Neve Daniel:

The new community was named for an-Nabi Daniel, Arabic for Prophet Daniel, a site at a bend in the road several kilometers southwest of Bethlehem where a convoy bringing supplies to Gush Etzion was ambushed.[7] The loss of the "Nabi Daniel Convoy" became a turning point in the fight for Gush Etzion.[7][8][9][10] The road to Gush Etzion had been blocked by Arab villagers who organized attacks on vehicles traveling to and from Jerusalem. The convoys traversing the route consisted mainly of so-called "sandwich trucks", improvised armored vehicles reinforced with two sheets of steel welded onto the cabin and cargo area and a layer of wood placed in between.[11][12][13][14] On 27 March 1948, a convoy of 51 vehicles returning from Gush Etzion encountered an impassable roadblock and came to a halt. The Arabs positioned on both sides of the road opened fire.[7] According to Irgun fighter Yehuda Lapidot, during the battle, 15 Jewish fighters were killed, 73 wounded, and most of the Haganah's fleet of armored transport vehicles, 10 armored cars, 4 armored buses and 25 armor-plated trucks, were destroyed.[7] An alternative theory is that the community was named by the leader of another convoy destroyed while attempting at resupplying Gush Etzion in 1948, Daniel "Dani" Mass of the Convoy of 35.[15]

On a visit to Neve Daniel in 2009, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter told his hosts: "I have been fortunate this afternoon in learning the perspectives that I did not have."[16] At a meeting in the garden of Shaul Goldstein, who was then the head of the Gush Etzion regional council, Carter said: "This particular settlement area is not one that I can envision ever being abandoned or changed over into Palestinian territory. This is part of settlements close to the 1967 line that I think will be here forever."[17]

Status under international lawEdit

Like all Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, Neve Daniel is considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. The international community considers Israeli settlements to violate the Fourth Geneva Convention's prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power's civilian population into occupied territory. Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them.[2] This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross.[18]


Neve Daniel has a mixed population of native Israelis and immigrants from the former Soviet Union, France, Canada, and the United States. The population doubled from 800 residents in 2001 to nearly 1,500 in 2008, and in the 2015 to 2,577 residents[19] comprising over 400 families. The majority of residents are religious Zionists.

Snow in Neve Daniel, 2013


The Pavie House

Ephraim Henry Pavie, a French-born architect who made aliyah to Israel in 1983, designed a free form four-story concrete house for his family in Neve Daniel.[20] None of the above-ground walls is straight. Pavie, whose architectural style Yonatan Kanti of the Israeli daily Ma'ariv compared to the futurism of Eero Saarinen's TWA Flight Center, said the house attracts attention from passers-by but is not universally appreciated.[21]

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  3. ^ "נוה דניאל, מתוך מקומות בישראל - אנציקלופדיה ynet". Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  4. ^ קרק, רות (1990-12-31). גאולת הקרקע בארץ ישראל : רעיון ומעשה (in Hebrew). יד יצחק בן־צבי. p. 220. ISBN 9789652170682.
  5. ^ Wadi an Nis Village Profile, ARIJ, p. 16
  6. ^ Al Khader Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 20
  7. ^ a b c d Yehuda Lapidot. "Besieged Jerusalem 1948: Memories of an Irgun Fighter".
  8. ^ Osnat Shiran (ed.). "The Nabi Daniel Convoy". Palmach Information Center. Israel Galili Center Association. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  9. ^ Uri Bar-Joseph (1987). The Best of Enemies: Israel and Transjordan in the War of 1948 (first ed.). Routledge. p. 61. ISBN 9780714632117. Retrieved 20 August 2016. ....the massacre of the 'Lamed-Heh'.... It was reemphasized by the fall of the 'Nabi Daniel' convoy.... From a purely military standpoint these two setbacks were sufficient proof that the fate of Gush Etzion was sealed.
  10. ^ Hillel Bardin, Dror Etkes (24 February 2015). "The 'Gush Etzion' masquerade". Retrieved 20 August 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ Louis Williams (1996). The Israel Defense Forces: A People's Army. Jerusalem: Gefen Books. pp. 177, 178, 212. ISBN 9789650504618. Retrieved 20 August 2016. The first armored vehicles were buses, trucks and tenders, clad in sandwiches of wooden sheets between two layers of iron plate. (p. 177) │ "sandwich" trucks and tenders (p. 178) │ improvised wood and iron sandwich armor (p. 212)
  12. ^ Joe Yudin (7 June 2012). "The road up to Jerusalem, part 2". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 20 August 2016. All they had were pickup trucks. The Hagana tried to make their own armor by soldering two steel sheets on the trucks which earned them the name “sandwich trucks”. The steel only slowed down the Arab villagers’ bullets enough to stop them from exiting the trucks – the bullets would ricochet around inside. The trucks soon earned the name "deathtraps".
  13. ^ Barbara Sofer (2008). Keeping Israel Safe: Serving in the Israel Defense Forces. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben Publishing / Lerner Publishing Group. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-8225-7221-3. At first, the IDF didn’t have tanks and had to use trucks and buses reinforced with iron plates in the middle. These armored vehicles were called sandwich trucks.
  14. ^ Ethan Bensinger (documentary filmmaker) (18 December 2007). "A Crusader era church, great Middle Eastern food, and the battle for the road to Jerusalem". Retrieved 20 August 2016. vehicles, known as "sandwich trucks" whose sides consisted of two pieces of armor encasing a thick piece of wood
  15. ^ Helen Cohn (licensedtour guide) (7 October 2014). "Where Past and Present Meet". Retrieved 20 August 2016. Among the dead was the commander Danny Mass. The community of Neve Daniel is named in his honour.
  16. ^ "Carter's visit to Neve Daniel". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  17. ^ "Carter talks Mideast peace". Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  18. ^ Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Archived 2010-07-06 at the Wayback Machine International Court of Justice, 9 July 2004. pp. 44-45
  19. ^ "407,118".
  20. ^ 7 Israeli buildings that will make you stop and stare
  21. ^ Kanti, Yonatan (2 April 2012). השראה למכירה: המקרה המוזר של הבית בגוש עציון [Inspiration for sale: The curious case of the house in Gush Etzion]. Nrg Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 7 April 2012.