As Samu' or es-Samu' is a town in the Hebron Governorate
Hebron Governorate
The Hebron Governorate is an administrative district of the Palestinian National Authority in the southern West Bank. It extends south to, and includes most of, the Dead Sea....

 of the 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...

, 12 kilometers south of the city of Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

. as-Samu is 60 kilometers south-west of Jerusalem. The area is a hilly, rocky area cut by some wadis. The Armistice Demarcation Line (ADL, Green line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

) runs generally east to west approximately five kilometers south of as Samu. The village of as Samu is located on twin hills with a wadi varying from shallow to deep between them. 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....

 the town had a population of 19,649 in 2007. It has been claimed that this was the Biblical town of Eshtemoa
Eshtemoa, meaning obedience, is a name found in the Bible.*A son of Ishbah or maybe a town inhabited by Ishbah's descendants. *A descendent of Bithiah princess of Egypt and Mered ....

, but this is not universally accepted.


In 1838, Edward Robinson
Edward Robinson
-Elected officials:*Edward Robinson , American Whig politician*Edward Robinson , Irish-born Canadian Liberal politician...

 identified the town of Semua with biblical Eshtemoa. Eshtemoa, meaning obedience, was a priestly allotment mentioned in the Book of Joshua
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and of the Old Testament. Its 24 chapters tell of the entry of the Israelites into Canaan, their conquest and division of the land under the leadership of Joshua, and of serving God in the land....

 (19:50, 21:14), in Samuel
Samuel is a leader of ancient Israel in the Books of Samuel in the Hebrew Bible. He is also known as a prophet and is mentioned in the Qur'an....

 I (30:25), and in the Books of Chronicles
Books of Chronicles
The Books of Chronicles are part of the Hebrew Bible. In the Masoretic Text, it appears as the first or last book of the Ketuvim . Chronicles largely parallels the Davidic narratives in the Books of Samuel and the Books of Kings...

 I (4:17, 6:42).

The Jerusalem Talmud
Jerusalem Talmud
The Jerusalem Talmud, talmud meaning "instruction", "learning", , is a collection of Rabbinic notes on the 2nd-century Mishnah which was compiled in the Land of Israel during the 4th-5th century. The voluminous text is also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud de-Eretz Yisrael...

 mentions Eshtemoa as well as an amora
Amoraim , were renowned Jewish scholars who "said" or "told over" the teachings of the Oral law, from about 200 to 500 CE in Babylonia and the Land of Israel. Their legal discussions and debates were eventually codified in the Gemara...

active in the town during the 4th-century by the name of Hasa of Eshtemoa
Hasa of Eshtemoa
Hasa of Eshtemoa was a amora active in Eshtemoa in the Land of Israel during the end of the 3rd-century or beginning of the 4th-century CE. He is mentioned once in the Jerusalem Talmud as being visited by Rav Yasa of Tiberias....

. Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea
Eusebius of Caesarea also called Eusebius Pamphili, was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon...

 (4th-century) describes Eshtemoa in the Onomasticon as being a Jewish town in the 'Daroma', north of Aniam, within the Eleutheropolis
Eleutheropolis was the Greek name of a Roman city in Israel, some 53 km southwest of Jerusalem. Its remains still straddle the ancient road to Gaza. The site— already rendered as Baitogabra in Ptolemy's Geography— was called Beit Guvrin and Bet Gubrin in the Talmud...

 (Bet Guvrin) region.

In the 12th century CE, the Crusaders
The Crusaders are a New Zealand professional rugby union team based in Christchurch that competes in the Super Rugby competition. They are the most successful team in Super Rugby history with seven titles...

 built a fortress that was part of the eastern defense line.

In 1934, remains of the towns ancient synagogue
Ancient synagogue (Eshtemoa)
The Eshtemoa Synagogue, located 15 km south of Hebron in as-Samu, West Bank, refers to the remains of an ancient Palestinian synagogue dating from around the 4th–5th century CE.-History:...

 were discovered and the site was later excavated in 1969, by Ze'ev Yeivin.

Operation Shredder

In 1966, Israel launched a full-scale military operation against the town, which resulted in the deaths of fifteen Jordanian soldiers and three Jordanian civilians; fifty-four other soldiers and ninety-six civilians were wounded. The commander of the Israeli paratroop battalion, Colonel Yoav Shaham, was killed and ten other Israeli soldiers were wounded.

Separation Barrier

It was reported in 2005 that 10,000 dunums of land in the towns of As Samu, Yatta
"Yatta!" is a 2001 parody song by a fictional Japanese boy band called . The one word in the song title, yatta, is the past tense of the Japanese verb yaru and is also the familiar short form of yarimashita, an exclamation meaning "It's done!", "I did it!", "Ready!" or "All right!" The song was...

 and ad-Dhahiriya
ad-Dhahiriya is a Palestinian city in the Hebron Governorate, 23 km southwest of the city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, ad-Dhahiriya had a population of 28,776 in 2007.-History:According to Conder, Claude Reignier and H.H...

 near Hebron were to be seized by the Israel Defense Force for the construction of the separation wall. Palestinian sources have alleged that settler violence from the nearby Israeli settlements of Ma'on and Asa'el
Asa'el , also known as Mitzpe Asa'el , is an Israeli settlement outpost in the West Bank. Located three kilometres south-east of Shim'a, it falls under the jurisdiction of Har Hebron Regional Council...

 has prevented them from accessing their fields.


A headdress or 'money hat' (wuqayat al-darahem) from as-Samu (c. 1840s (with later additions)) is exhibited at the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

. The caption notes that the headdress was worn in the 19th Century and early 20th Century during the wedding ceremony, especially for the 'going out to the well' ceremony when the bride appeared in public as a married woman for the first time. Generally, the headdress was considered to be one of the most important parts of the Palestinian costume.

Further reading

External links

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