Aqraba is a Palestinian
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 town in the Nablus Governorate
Nablus Governorate
The Nablus Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authoritylocated in the Central Highlands of the West Bank, 53km north of Jerusalem. It covers the area around the city of Nablus which serves as the muhfaza of the governorate...

, located eighteen kilometers southeast of Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

 in the northern West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is the statistical organization under the umbrella of the Palestinian Cabinet of the Palestinian National Authority....

 (PCBS), Aqraba had a population of approximately 8,180 inhabitants in 2007.

Nearby hamlets surrounding Aqraba for natural extensions of the town; they are the khirbets of al-Arama, al-Kroom, Abu al-Reisa, al-Rujman, Firas al-Din and Tel al-Khashaba. The total population of these hamlets is estimated to be 500. The prominent families of Aqraba are Bani Jaber, al-Mayadima, Bani Jame', Bani Fadel and al-Deili.

History and archeology

Aqraba is mentioned several times in the Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 as Akrabbim being at the southern boundary of the "Promised Land
Promised land
The Promised Land is a term used to describe the land promised or given by God, according to the Hebrew Bible, to the Israelites, the descendants of Jacob. The promise is firstly made to Abraham and then renewed to his son Isaac, and to Isaac's son Jacob , Abraham's grandson...

". Its Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 translation is "scorpions".

In the town is a mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 built of ancient stones with Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 inscriptions and contained a cross. According to local tradition and a number of British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 scholars believe the mosque was originally a Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

-era church. To the north of the village there is a fort called Qal'at al-Hosn consisting of a block of buildings put on the hill. The masonry is drafted with a rustic boss. A cistern
A cistern is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and store rainwater. Cisterns are distinguished from wells by their waterproof linings...

 exists within the enclosure which still holds water. A birkeh ("pool") stands in the middle of Aqraba near the hillside nearby are some kokhim tombs.

Alladin is from Aqraba.


It consists of about 34,700 dunam
A dunam or dönüm, dunum, donum, dynym, dulum was a non-SI unit of land area used in the Ottoman Empire and representing the amount of land that can be plowed in a day; its value varied from 900–2500 m²...

s, of which 1,783 is built-up area. Around 62% of the remaining land is covered with olive and almond groves, 8% with other fruits and vegetables and the remaining 30% for grazing purposes.

Aqraba's unemployment rate is above 50% primarily due to the violence since the beginning of the Second Intifada. Because the Palestinian labor force is unable to work in Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i localities, the town's workers currently hold public and private jobs. Some also depend on agriculture and industrial workshops as main sources of income.


Aqraba is located in Area B, giving the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 control over its administration and civil affairs. The town is governed by a municipal council
Municipality (Palestinian Authority)
In the territories administrated by the Palestinian Authority, a municipality is an administrative unit of local government similar to a city. They were established and decided after the creation of the Local Government Ministry of the Palestinian National Authority in 1994. All municipalities are...

, consisting of eleven members including the mayor. In the 2005 Palestinian municipal elections, the Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

-backed Future Palestine list won the majority of the seats (six) while the Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

-backed al-Islamiya list won five seats. Jawdat 'Abd al-Hadi was elected mayor.

External links

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