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Beit Hanoun
BeitHanoun Logo.gif
Municipal Seal of Beit Hanoun
Beit Hanoun is located in the Palestinian territories
Beit Hanoun
Arabic بيت حانون
Governorate North Gaza
Government City
Also spelled Beit Hanun (officially)

Bayt Hanun (unofficially)

Coordinates 31°32′29.23″N 34°32′10.60″E / 31.5414528°N 34.536278°E / 31.5414528; 34.536278Coordinates: 31°32′29.23″N 34°32′10.60″E / 31.5414528°N 34.536278°E / 31.5414528; 34.536278
Population 32,187 (2006)
Jurisdiction

12,500  dunams (12.5 km²)

Head of Municipality Mohamad Nazek al-Kafarna
Website www.beithanoun.ps

Beit Hanoun (Arabic: بيت حانون‎) is a city on the north-east edge of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the town had a population of 32,187 in mid-year 2006.[1] It is administered by the Palestinian Authority. It is located by the Hanoun stream, just 6 kilometers (4 mi) away from the Israeli town of Sderot.

Contents

History

According to local legend, Beit Hanoun was the capital of the Philistine King Hanoun who fought the Assyrians in the 8th century BCE. The Ayyubids defeated the Crusaders at a battle in Umm al-Nasser hill, just east of Beit Hanoun, and built the Umm al-Naser Mosque ("Mother of Victories Mosque") there in commemoration of the victory. A Mamluk post office was located in Beit Hanoun as well.[2]

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Post-1948 War

While under control of Egyptian authorities Egypt complained to the Mixed Armistice Commission that on the 7 and 14 October 1950 Israeli military Forces had shelled and machine-gunned the Arab villages of Abasan al-Kabera and Beit Hanoun in Egyptian controlled territory of the Gaza strip. This action caused the death of seven and the wounding of twenty civilians.[3]

The infrastructure of Beit Hanoun was heavily damaged during an incursion by Israeli forces in 2005.[4] This town is also notable for the 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun where 19 Palestinians were killed by IDF shelling. According to Israeli authorities it was in response for its use as a base from which Palestinian militant groups have fired Qassam rockets into the northern Negev towns like Sderot, as well as the former Gush Katif settlements.

In December 2006, the UN appointed a fact-finding commission led by Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to investigate the attack. However, Tutu and the other members were not granted permission to travel by Israel and the investigation was cancelled.[5] Tutu's final report to the United Nations human rights council[6] concluded, however, that "[I]n the absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military - who is in sole possession of the relevant facts - the mission must conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime."[7]

According to the Palestinian Authority, prior to the November 2006 incident, at least 140 Palestinians were killed by Israeli Forces in Beit Hanoun from September 2000 to November 2006.[8]

On March 27. 2007, sewage water flooded the northern Umm al-Nasser suburb of Beit Hanoun, killing five people.[9]

Demographics

Beit Hanoun had a population of 885 in a 1922 British Mandate census.[10] The population more than doubled by 1945. In that year, a land and population survey recorded 1,730 inhabitants including 50 Jews.[11] In 1961, the population rose to 3,876.[10]

In the first official census by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Beit Hanoun had a total population of 20,780. Over 90% of the residents were Palestinian refugees.[12] There were 10,479 males and 10,301 females. The age distribution was as follows: People 14 years of age or younger constituted the majority at 65.6%, people between the ages of 20 and 44 was 26.8%, 45 to 64 was 5.7% and residents above the age of 65 was 1.9%.[13]

Local infrastructure

There are twelve secondary, primary and agricultural schools in Beit Hanoun and an agricultural college which is related to al-Azhar University - Gaza. There is a medical center and hospital in the city and several clinics mostly managed by the United Nations.[14]

See also

References

  1. ^ Projected Mid -Year Population for North Gaza Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^ Beit Hanoon Municipality of Gaza.
  3. ^ UN Doc S/1459 of 20 February 1950 Report of the Mixed Armistice Commission
  4. ^ European Commission report MED/2004/090-716 Damage Assessment: Beit Hanoun Area 17 December 2005
  5. ^ BBC Israel 'blocks Tutu Gaza mission' BBC News.
  6. ^ HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN PALESTINE AND OTHER OCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIESReport of the high-level fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun established under Council resolution S-3/1
  7. ^ Israeli shelling of Beit Hanoun a possible war crime, Desmond Tutu tells UN, The Guardian, 15 September 2008.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Sewage flood causes Gaza deaths BBC News, 27 March 2007 (retrieved 28 March 2007).
  10. ^ a b Welcome To Bayt Hanun
  11. ^ Hadawi, Sami. (1970). Gaza District Statistics from Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine The Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center.
  12. ^ Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
  13. ^ Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).
  14. ^ Our City Beithanoun Municipality.

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