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An Nabi Samwil (Al Nebi Samuil/Nebi Samuel), Jerusalem gov.

Zoom:range: 0-17
Palestinian     Former Palestinian (ethnically cleansed)
Israeli Jewish
Lebanese     Syrian     Jordanian   Egyptian   Saudi   unclassified

Latitude: 31.83333 (31° 50' N)
Longitude: 35.18333 (35° 11' E)
Type of place: Palestinian town in the West Bank (seam area)

Where to find this place: south-west of A-Ram, south of Ramallah, on this map


An Nabi Samwil is a Palestinian village in Jerusalem Governorate located (horizontally) 7.6km northwest of Jerusalem City. It is bordered by Beit Hanina al Balad village and Bir Nabala lands to the east, Al Jib village to the north, Beit Iksa village lands to the west, and Beit Iksa village to the south. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the total population of An Nabi Samwil in 2007 was 233. There were 43 households living in 41 housing units.


Nabi Samwil is a Palestinian village that was first damaged during the fighting between British and Turkish troops. The village was rebuilt, but totally destroyed by the Israeli ethnic cleansers in 23 March 1971. The villagers were only allowed to rebuild corrugated iron huts. The apartheid wall will completely surround the village which is located in the seam area (West of the apartheid wall).

The only exit from the village is to road 436, an 'Apartheid road' for Jews-only so that no one from Nabi Samwil is allowed to travel it. Nowadays, for an apparently short time, the villagers may only reach the Ramot Checkpoint which is situated on this road; and only there. And at this checkpoint, at the soldiers' whim, they may or may not be allowed to continue into the neighboring enclave, and from there make their long and winding way to Ramallah and elsewhere. No one is allowed to come or visit the village. Only people who are registered in their IDs as Nabi Samwil inhabitants. Thus, for example, Issa's daughter's spouse may not join her for a visit to her family.

People hardly ever go out any more, for any excursion takes hours instead of minutes. For they are required to go through Ramot Checkpoint which, as all the other checkpoints, is there to prevent and harass. Issa has not visited his son and family for over a year and a half now, as they have relocated to close-by Bir Nabala, since their home was demolished. Everything has just become too difficult and time-consuming. Issa's grandson has been traveling to school on the family donkey for over a year. Young people who marry tend not to return to the village. They wouldn't be able to live there anyway for they would have to build, there's no other way, and their homes would be demolished, as they always are. Several people have already died of a broken heart.

Geopolitical status

According to the Oslo II Interim Agreement signed on 28 September 1995 between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, all lands of An Nabi Samwil village (2,261 dunums) were classified as area 'C', where Israel retains full control over security and administration. In area 'C' Palestinian building and land management is prohibited unless through a permit given by the Israeli Civil Administration. Most of the lands lying within area 'C' are agricultural lands and lands confiscated by Israeli settlements.

Israeli Occupation Practices

An Nabi Samwil village has had land stolen for various Israeli purposes, including the construction of Israeli settlements on the village territories and the construction of the Segregation Wall. Below is a breakdown of An Nabi Samwil's land stolen by the Israelis:
Israeli Settlements constructed on An Nabi Samwil land
Settlement Name Year of construction Area confiscated from An Nabi Samwil (dunums) Population of settlers
Har Shamual 1996 331 500
Neve Shamual 1996 136 N/A
Total   467 500+
Source: ARIJ-GIS Unit, 2011

Israel has also stolen land from An Nabi Samwil village to construct bypass road 436 to connect Israeli settlements surrounding the village with Jerusalem city and Israeli cities in the occupied Palestinian territory. The real threat of the bypass roads lies in the area of the buffer zone drawn by the Israeli military along the road, which extends to 75m on each side.

Furthermore, An Nabi Samwil village has witnessed further seizure of its territories by force by Israeli settlers to establish the Israeli outpost of 'Hiroti' to the east of the village. During the past two decades, Israel has constructed 232 such settlement sites in the West Bank, which became known as outposts. Outposts are centers of new settlements that usually begin by establishing mobile caravans on the site that was taken over by settlers; they are usually either branches of the mother settlement which is located few miles away from the outposts, or independent sites that later become settlements.

An Nabi Samwil Village and the Israeli Segregation Wall Plan

The Israeli Segregation Wall has had a negative and destructive impact on An Nabi Samwil Village. According to the latest amendment of the plan, published on the webpage of the Israeli Defense Ministry on 30 April 2007, the Wall isolates An Nabi Samwil village from its surrounding Palestinian villages and includes it within the Giv'at Ze'ev settlement bloc. The isolated lands include Israeli settlements, agricultural, and open spaces.

Suffering of Palestinians Caused by the Construction of the Segregation Wall

According to the Segregation Wall plan published on the webpage of the Israeli Defense Ministry on 30 April 2007, the Wall isolates the village from neighboring Palestinian villages and towns, surrounding it and including it within the Giv'at Ze'ev settlement bloc. The village has been separated from Al Jib, Biddu, Beit Hanina al Balad and Beit Iksa localities, to which the village residents used to travel for educational, health and commercial services. This move has created a new socio-geographic reality for the village residents that will be difficult to reverse, as these policies have led to a high population and urbanization density in the village due to the lack of land for construction, as all of the village's lands were classified within area 'C' where Israel retains full control over security and administration. Therefore, Palestinians living in the village must obtain building permits from the Israeli civil administration which is virtually impossible, particularly in areas near Israeli settlements. The residents of An Nabi Samwil village therefore have two choices: to keep living in the same houses and adapt to the situation caused by population growth, or to leave the village. Most young couples choose to leave the village in order to find a house where they can live independently. It is noteworthy that the entire population of An Nabi Samwil (about 250 people) lives in about 15 houses, some of which are made of metal sheets (tin), which means that every house contains around 17 individuals. An Nabi Samwil village has a high population density because of the continued population growth coupled with the absence of extended urbanization despite the abundance of lands.


The principal families of the village: Barakat, Al Abed, Obeid, Kasawnah and Abd al Latif


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The database entries for the following entities refer to this place:

Nahalat Israel – Rama   • Isaac Zvi Rivlin

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