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Qalqilya Logo.gif
Municipal Seal of Qalqilyah
Qalqilyah is located in the Palestinian territories
Arabic قلقيلية
Governorate Qalqilya
Government City
Coordinates 32°11′25.36″N 34°58′06.63″E / 32.1903778°N 34.9685083°E / 32.1903778; 34.9685083Coordinates: 32°11′25.36″N 34°58′06.63″E / 32.1903778°N 34.9685083°E / 32.1903778; 34.9685083
Population 44,700 (2006)

25,637  dunams (25.6 km²)

Head of Municipality Marouf Zahran

Qalqilyah (Arabic: قلقيليةQalqīlyaḧ; Hebrew קַלְקִילִיָה) is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. Qalqilyah serves as the administrative centre for the Qalqilya Governorate. In 2006, it had a population of 38,000. [1]



The region has been populated since prehistoric times, as attested to by the discovery of prehistoric flint tools. In Roman times, a way-station existed in the location called Cala-c'Aliya.[citation needed] Invading armies, many of which came from the Mediterranean coast, passed through Qalqilyah.

View of Qalqilyah

Residents established an independent local council in 1909, and by 1945, a municipal council. In World War I, a few Jewish families settled in the town after being evicted from Tel Aviv by the ruling Ottoman administration.

Under Jordanian rule

Thousands of Palestinian refugees took refuge in Qalqilya during the 1948 Palestinian exodus prior to and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Known as the people of Kafr Saba and Arab Abu Kishek, the refugees received assistance from UNRWA. In the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and Jordan, the town was included in the Jordanian-occupied area, together with the rest of the West Bank. In an attack on the police fort at Qalqilya in October 1956, eighteen Israeli soldiers were killed and over fifty wounded.[2]

Under Israeli rule

After the conquest of Qalqilya in the Six Day War, the residents was driven out and buildings systematically demolished. Moshe Dayan wrote in his memoirs that the destruction of Qalilya was not a result of battles but rather was a "punishment" that was meant to "chase away the inhabitants".[3] Eventually, the population was allowed to return and the cost of reconstructing the damaged houses was financed by the military authorities.[4]

Under Palestinian rule

Following the Oslo Accords, the town came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority. Qalqilyah was the site of an early incident in the Al-Aqsa Intifada, on September 29, 2000, when a Palestinian police officer working with Israeli police on a joint patrol opened fire, killing his Israeli counterpart. In 2003, the Israeli West Bank barrier was built, encircling the town and separating it from agricultural lands on the other side of the wall, infuriating the local populace. [5]

In March 2008, Israeli soldiers arrested Omar Jabar, the Hamas bomber who masterminded the 2002 Netanya suicide attack in which 30 Israelis were killed and 143 wounded during a Passover dinner celebration.[6]


Between 1967-1995 almost 80 percent of Qalqilya's labor force worked for Israeli companies or industries in the construction and agriculture sectors. The other 20% engaged in trade and commerce, and many if not most of their traditional markets are across the green line. Most of the residents are farmers. Qalqilya is the location of the biggest Palestinian zoo.


Security wall in 2004

The mayor of town of Qalqilyah belongs to Hamas. The Qalqilya Governorate was one of only three governorates where Hamas won Fatah in the Palestinian election of 2006.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Morris 2001, p. 279
  3. ^ Morris 2001, p. 328
  4. ^ Elon 1983, pp. 231-232
  5. ^ The Wall (Qalqilya) 2003 Relief Web, Retrieved 10th Dec 2009
  6. ^ Israel: Hamas Mastermind Captured Associated Press, March 26, 2008.


  • Elon, Amos (1983). The Israelis: founders and sons. Penguin Books. ISBN 9780140169690. 
  • Morris, Benny (2001). Righteous victims: a history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, 1881-2001. Vintage Books. ISBN 9780679744757. 

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