Zemer (Hebrew: זמר‎, Arabic: زيمر‎) is an Arab local council in the Central District of Israel. It is located in the Arab Triangle area, between Baqa al-Gharbiyye and Bat Hefer on Road 574. Zemer is the result of a merger of four villages – Bir al-Sika, Ibtan, Marja and Yama - in 1988.


  • זמר
  • زيمر
Local council (from 1988)
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259Zemr
Zemer is located in Central Israel
Coordinates: 32°22′1.28″N 35°2′7.05″E / 32.3670222°N 35.0352917°E / 32.3670222; 35.0352917Coordinates: 32°22′1.28″N 35°2′7.05″E / 32.3670222°N 35.0352917°E / 32.3670222; 35.0352917
Grid position154/197 PAL
Founded1988 (merger)
 • Head of MunicipalityYassin Harzalla
 • Total8,203 dunams (8.203 km2 or 3.167 sq mi)
 • Total7,094
 • Density860/km2 (2,200/sq mi)
Name meaningKhurbet Ibthan; meaning "Ruin of gardens, or of soft soil"[2]


At Ibtan, potsherds dating from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine period have been found.[3]

Archaeological work in Yama brought to light settlement remains ranging from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) to the Ottoman period.[4]

Bronze Age YahamEdit

Middle Bronze Age II findings from Yama have been tentatively identified to belong to the ancient site of Yaham.[4] Yaham was mentioned in Egyptian sources regarding pharaohs Thutmose III and Shoshenq I.[5] The 15th century BCE annals describing the campaign of Thutmose III against a coalition of Canaanite city-states recount how the pharaoh camped at Yaham before marching on through the pass of Aruna (today's Wadi Ara), at whose exit he attacked and captured the city of Megiddo.[5]

Mamluk periodEdit

In 1265, two of the villages were mentioned among the estates which the Mamluk sultan Baibars granted his emirs after he had defeated the Crusaders: The whole of Ibthan (Bathan) was given to his emir 'Alam al-Din Sanjar al-Halabi al-Salihi,[6] while Yamma was divided equally between the emirs Saif al-Din Itamish al-Sa'di and Shams al-Din Aqsunqur.[7]

Ottoman periodEdit

Yama and Ibtan appeared in Ottoman tax registers compiled in 1596, in the Nahiyas of Qaqun and Jabal Sami, respectively, of the Nablus Liwa. Yama had a population of 18 Muslim households and 5 bachelors, while Ibtan was indicated as empty even though it paid taxes.[8]

In 1882, in the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine, only Khurbet Ibthan was noted, with "traces of ruins and a well."[9]

British MandateEdit

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Bir al-Sikka had a population of 36, Ibthan 56 and Yamma 48, all Muslims.[10]

Prior to 1948, all four villages were administratively related to the modern-day Palestinian town of Deir al-Ghusun.[11][12]

Modern IsraelEdit

Zemer's population at the end of 2009 was 5,700,[13] and its jurisdiction is 8,203 dunams.[14] The population increased to 6,375 in 2014.[15] The mayor of Zemer is Yassin Harzalla.[16]


  1. ^ "Population in the Localities 2019" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 185
  3. ^ Abu Fana, 2006, Ibthan
  4. ^ a b Masarwa, Durar (2013). "Yaham: Final Report (10/06/2013)". Hadashot Arkheologiyot. 125. JSTOR 26602933. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  5. ^ a b Albright, W. F. (October 1923). "Some Archaeological and Topographical Results of a Trip through Palestine". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The American Schools of Oriental Research. 11 (11): 3–14 (see p. 10). doi:10.2307/1354763. JSTOR 1354763. S2CID 163409706.
  6. ^ Ibn al-Furat, 1971, pp. 81, 209, 249 (map)
  7. ^ Ibn al-Furat, 1971, pp. 81, 210, 249 (map)
  8. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 127, p. 138.
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 196
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Tulkarem, p. 28
  11. ^ Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 20
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 74
  13. ^ "Table 3 - Population of Localities Numbering Above 2,000 Residents and Other Rural Population" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  14. ^ "Local Authorities in Israel 2005, Publication #1295 - Municipality Profiles - Zemer" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
  15. ^ "לוח 3.- אוכלוסייה( 1), ביישובים שמנו מעל 2,000 תושבים( 2) ושאר אוכלוסייה כפרית Population (1) of localities numbering above 2,000 Residents (2) and other rural population". Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ Continuing to improve personal security in the Arab sector


External linksEdit