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Jabalia also Jabalya ( ) is a Palestinian city located north of Gaza City. It is under the jurisdiction of the North Gaza Governorate, in the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Jabalia had a population of 82,877 in mid‑2006.Projected Mid-Year Population for Gaza Governorate by Locality 2004-2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics The Jabalia refugee camp is adjacent to the city to the north. The nearby town of Nazla is a part of the Jabalia municipality. The city is currently ruled by a Governance of the Gaza StripHamas administration.


A large cemetery dating to the 8th century CE was found near Jabalia. The workmanship indicates that the Christian community in Gaza was still very much in existence in the early Islamic era of rule in Palestine, and capable of artistic achievements. The remains of the pavement spared by the iconoclasts show depictions of wild game, birds, and country scenes. The late dating of the mosaic pavement proves that the intervention of the iconoclasts, after 750, is later than previously thought and is associated with Abbasid conservatives.Humbert, Jean-Baptiste. The rivers of Paradise in the Byzantine Church near Jabaliyah - Gaza Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem. 16 December 2000.
While working on the Salah al-Din Road, laborers accidentally uncovered a monastery from the Byzantine period. The site was excavated by the Palestinian Department of Antiquities. Now the stunning Byzantine mosaics of the monastery are covered with sand to shield them from erosion caused by the direct impact of the winter rain.Jabalya Mosaic Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People. p.6. 2004. Byzantine ceramics have also been found.Dauphin, 1998, p. 883


Jabalia was known for its fertile soil and citrus trees. The Mamluk Governor of Gaza Sanjar al-Jawli ruled the area in the early 14th-century and endowed part of Jabalia's land to the al‑Shamah Mosque he built in Gaza. In Jabalia there is also the medieval Omari Mosque. No structures from the ancient part of the mosque remain, except the portico and minaret. The rest of the mosque is of modern construction. The portico consists of three arcades supported by four stone columns. The arcades have pointed arches and the portico is covered by crossing vaults.Travel in Gaza MidEastTravelling.

Ottoman period

Incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517 with all of Palestine, Jabalia appeared in the 1596 tax registers as being in the Nahiya of Gaza of the Liwa of Gazza. It had a population of 331 households, all Muslim, who paid taxes on wheat, barley, vine yards and fruit trees; a total of 37,640 akçe. 2/3 of the revenue went to a waqf.Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 144
In 1838, Edward Robinson noted Jebalia as a Muslim village, located in the Gaza district.Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 118
In 1863, the French explorer Victor Guérin found in the mosque fragments of old constructions, and at the well some broken columns.Guérin, 1869, pp. 175-176; as referred by Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 251 An Ottoman village list from about 1870 found that the village had a population of 828, in a total of 254 houses, though the population count included men, only.Socin, 1879, p. 153Hartmann, 1883, p. 129, noted 253 houses
In the Palestine Exploration Fund's 1883 Survey of Western Palestine, Jabalia was described as being a large adobe village, with gardens and a well on the north-west. It had a mosque named Jamia Abu Berjas.Conder and Kitchener, 1883, SWP III, p. 236

British Mandate era

In the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Jabalia had a population of 1,775 inhabitants, all Muslim,Barron, 1923, Table V, Sub-district of Gaza, p. 8 increasing in the 1931 census to 2,425, still all Muslims, in 631 houses.Mills, 1932, p. 4
In the 1945 statistics, Jabalia had a population of 3,520, all Muslims,Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 31 with 11,497 dunams of land, according to an official land and population survey.Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 45 Of this, 138 dunams were for citrus and bananas, 1,009 for plantations and irrigable land, 1,036 for cereals,Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 87 while 101 dunams were built-up land.Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 137


In late 2006, Jabalia was the scene of mass protests against airstrikes on militants' homes. Israel contacted the residences of several Hamas members who launched missiles at Israeli civilians from the houses, warning them of an airstrike within the next 30 minutes. Neighbors responded by forming a human shield and successfully stalled the demolition.


Jabalia has an above-average rate of male pseudohermaphrodite births. Jehad Abudaia, a Canadian-Palestinian pediatrician and urologist, has suggested that consanguinity due to cousin marriages accounts for the prevalence of pseudohermaphrodite births. In the Gaza Strip, pseudohermaphrodite conditions often go undetected for years after birth due to the region's lower standards of medical treatment and diagnostics.Watson, Ivan. "Rare Gender Identity Defect Hits Gaza Families." CNN. December 17, 2009. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.

Twin towns – sister cities

Jabalia is twinned with:
  • Ümraniye, Turkey

  • Bibliography

    External links

    • UNRWA Jabalia
    • Welcome To The City of Jabaliya
    • Survey of Western Palestine, Map 19: IAA, Wikimedia commons

    Category:Cities in the Gaza Strip
    Category:North Gaza Governorate
    Category:Municipalities of the State of Palestine

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