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Saffa (Arabic: صفّا‎) is a Palestinian town in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate, located west of Ramallah in the northern West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the town had a population of approximately 3,802 inhabitants in 2007.[2]

Saffa
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicصفّا
Saffa in the front, Deir Qaddis behind
Saffa in the front, Deir Qaddis behind
Saffa is located in the Palestinian territories
Saffa
Saffa
Location of Saffa within Palestine
Coordinates: 31°54′25″N 35°03′30″E / 31.90694°N 35.05833°E / 31.90694; 35.05833Coordinates: 31°54′25″N 35°03′30″E / 31.90694°N 35.05833°E / 31.90694; 35.05833
Palestine grid155/145
StateState of Palestine
GovernorateRamallah and al-Bireh
Government
 • TypeMunicipality
Population
 (2007)
 • Total3,802
Name meaningIn rows[1]

Contents

LocationEdit

Saffa is located 13.3 kilometers (8.3 mi) (in straight distance) west of Ramallah. It is bordered by Beit 'Ur at Tahta, Kafr Ni'ma and Deir Ibzi to the east, Bil'in, Ni'lin and Al Midya to the north, the 1948 territories to the west, and Beit 'Ur at Tahta and Beit Sira to the south.[3]

HistoryEdit

It has been proposed identifying Saffa with Casale Saphet of the Crusader era.[4]

Ottoman eraEdit

In the early Ottoman census of 1525-1526, it was not mentioned, but in 1538-1539, Saffa was located in the nahiya of Quds, and named as Mazra, or cultivated land.[5]

In 1838 it was noted as a Muslim village, located in the Beni Harith district, west of Jerusalem.[6][7]

In 1870, Victor Guérin noted that: "This village occupies a high plateau; it contains four hundred inhabitants. Some stones, scattered or embedded in Arab buildings, and numerous excavations in the rock, such as cisterns, tombs, quarries and subterranean vaults, proves that the present Saffa succeeded an ancient locality."[8] An Ottoman village list of about the same year showed that Saffa had 200 inhabitants with 67 houses, though the population count included men, only.[9][10]

In 1883 the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Suffa: "A small village standing high on a ridge, with a well to the east and a sacred place to the south."[11]

In 1896 the population of Safa was estimated to be about 564 persons.[12]

British Mandate eraEdit

In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Saffa had a population of 495 Muslims,[13] increasing in the 1931 census to 644 Muslims, in 143 houses.[14]

In the 1945 statistics the population was 790 Muslims,[15] while the total land area was 9,602 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[16] Of this, 2,536 were used for plantations and irrigable land, 2,975 for cereals,[17] while 99 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[18]

Jordanian eraEdit

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

In 1961, the population of Saffa was 1,364.[19]

1967-presentEdit

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

After the 1995 accords, 12.9% of village land is defined as Area B land, and the remainder 87.1 % as Area C.[20]

Israel has confiscated land from Saffa in order to construct six Israeli settlements: 5 dunams for Hashmona'im, 441 dunam for Lapid, 814 dunam for Kfar Rut, 682 dunam for Menora, 471 dunam for Makkabim, and 781 dunam for Shilat.[21]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 329
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.114.
  3. ^ Saffa village profile, ARIJ, p. 4
  4. ^ Röhricht, 1887, p. 213; cited in Finkelstein et al, 1998, p. 151
  5. ^ Toledano, 1984, pp. 280, 298, has Saffa at location 31°54′25″N 35°03′05″E; cited in Finkelstein et al, 1997, p. 151
  6. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 124
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, p. 58
  8. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 48
  9. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 159 also notes that it is in the Beni Harith district
  10. ^ Hartmann, 1883, p. 126, noted 47 houses
  11. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 7
  12. ^ Schick, 1896, pp. 122, 124
  13. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramallah, p. 17
  14. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 50.
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 26
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 65
  17. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 112
  18. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 163
  19. ^ Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics, 1964, p. 24
  20. ^ Saffa village profile, ARIJ, p. 16
  21. ^ Saffa village profile, ARIJ, p. 17

BibliographyEdit

External linksEdit