The Full Wiki

tubas: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


Tubas is also the plural form of Tuba, a musical instrument.



Arabic طوباس
Country Palestine
Governorate Tubas
Government City
Also spelled Toubas (officially)

Tubass (unofficially)

Coordinates 32°19′00.00″N 35°22′08.38″E / 32.31667°N 35.3689944°E / 32.31667; 35.3689944Coordinates: 32°19′00.00″N 35°22′08.38″E / 32.31667°N 35.3689944°E / 32.31667; 35.3689944
Population 16,100 (2006)

295,123  dunams (295.1 km²)

Founded in Late 1800s
Head of Municipality Jamal Abu Mohsin

Tubas or Toubas (Arabic: طوباس‎, Tûbâs) is a small Palestinian city in the northeastern West Bank, located 21 kilometers (13 mi) northeast of Nablus, a few kilometers west of the Jordan River. A city of over 16,000 inhabitants, it serves as the economic and administrative center of the Tubas Governorate. Its urban area consists of 2,271 dunams (227 hectares). It is governed by a municipal council of 15 members and most of its working inhabitants are employed in agriculture or public services. Jamal Abu Mohsin has been the mayor of Tubas since being elected in 2005.

Tubas has been identified as the ancient town of Thebez—a Canaanite town famous for revolting against King Abimelech, but the modern town was founded in the late 1800s, during the Ottoman rule of Palestine, by Arab clans living in the Jordan Valley region and became major town in the District of Nablus, particularly known for cheese-making and its timber. It came under the British Mandate of Palestine in 1917; annexed by Jordan after their capture of the town in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War; and then occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinian National Authority has had complete control of Tubas since it was transferred to them in 1995.




Biblical period

The city's name Tubas derives from the Canaanite word Tuba Syoys or "illuminating star".[1] Tubas was identified by Edward Robinson to be the Canaanite town of "Thebez" mentioned in the Bible.[2][3] Thebez was ruled by the Israelite King Abimelech of Shechem. When the people of Shechem (at that time a Canaanite city) revolted against him, Thebez joined the revolt. A Biblical story relates that Abimelech attempted to destroy Thebez in response to its participation in the revolt and when he and his army attacked a tower in the town, a woman hurled a millstone at Abimelech, killing him instantly.[4][5]

Archaeological remains such as cemeteries and olive presses indicate that Tubas was inhabited during the Roman era of rule in Palestine.[1] Jerome mentioned Thebez being 13 Roman miles east of Neapolis (Nablus). Besides the Biblical story, nothing has been known about Thebez before or after the revolt.[6]


Modern-day Tubas was founded in the late 1800s during Ottoman rule in Palestine, when groups of Arabs belonging to the Daraghmeh clan—mostly shepherds and farmers who lived in the Jordan Valley—migrated northward to the site because of its fertile ground, proximity to several springs, and its high elevation compared to the Jordan Valley and Wadi al-Far'a plain;[1] Mount Gerizim was visible from the area.[7] The Daraghmeh clan had lived in the Jordan Valley since the 15th century and in addition to Tubas, they founded or inhabited the nearby hamlets of Kardala, al-Farisiya, Khirbet al-Malih, Kishda, Yarza, and Ras al-Far'a. Soon after the establishment of Tubas, Arabs from Najd, Syria, Jordan and nearby Nablus, as well as Hebron, came to settle in the area.[1] During this period, Tubas became the site of clashes between the 'Abd al-Hadi and Touqan clans of Nablus and suffered incursions by Bedouins from areas east of the city.[7] The Jarrar clan did not inhabit, but administrated Tubas, as it was located within the nahiya ("subdistrict") of Mashariq al-Jarrar.[8]

Tubas was one of the largest villages in the District of Nablus. Most of the inhabitants resided in mud-built houses or tents, in order to work on their distant lands in the Jordan Valley and to graze their sheep and goat flocks.[8] According to traveler Herbert Rix, compared to other towns its size in Samaria, Tubas was "well-to-do" and had abundant amounts of timber which was harvested for firewood.[4] Tubas, unlike the villages in the rest of the district, depended on livestock and not olives for income. Livestock products included cheese, clarified butter, woolen rugs, tents, ropes, and cloth bags.[8]

According to the Palestine Exploration Fund, the tomb of Asher, known locally as Nabi Tota ("the good prophet"), is located in Tubas. The tomb is a shrine in Muslim tradition.[9]

Modern era

In 1917, the British captured Palestine from the Ottomans, and in 1922–23 Tubas was incorporated into the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1947, the United Nations drew up a partition plan to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states; Tubas and the surrounding villages and hamlets were to be included in the Arab state. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Fawzi al-Qawuqji led 750 Arab Liberation Army (ALA) soldiers to Tubas from Jordan and set up base there; Tubas would serve as the ALA's headquarters in central Palestine throughout the war.[10] Jordan annexed the city along with the entire West Bank, after gaining control of it during the war. Tubas was under their control until 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank during the Six-Day War.

Tubas was transferred to Palestinian National Authority (PNA) control in 1995 under the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During the Jordanian and Israeli eras, the city was under the administration of the Nablus Governorate, but in 1996, the PNA declared Tubas and the immediate area to be an electoral district, and later, an independent administrative area — the Tubas Governorate.[11]

Tubas did not see as much violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as nearby Nablus and Jenin, but a number of incidents occurred during the Second Intifada, which began in 2000. In April 2002, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed five active Hamas members in the town, including Ashraf Tamza Daraghmeh—the chief Hamas commander in Tubas and the surrounding area.[12] On August 31, 2002, an Israeli Apache helicopter fired four Hellfire missiles at a civilian car suspected of carrying a local al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades commander and a nearby home. The strike instead killed five civilians, including two children, two teenagers and a 29-year-old Fatah activist accused of being a member of the al-Aqsa Brigades. Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer issued a statement expressing "regret" over "harming" civilians in Tubas. Ben-Eliezer described the raid in Tubas as a "mistake", and promised that the army would investigate the incident.[13]


Tubas is located in the upper hills of Samaria in the northern West Bank[14] with an elevation of 362 meters (1,188 ft) above sea level, whereas most of the Tubas Governorate is located within the Jordan Valley to the south.[1] In a 1945 land survey, Tubas along with nearby Bardala and Kardala consisted of 313,123 dunams (31,312 hectares) of which 220,594 was Arab-owned and the remainder being public property.[15] Its total land area consists of 295,123 dunams (29,512 hectares), of which 2,271 is classified as built-up, roughly 150,000 used for agricultural purposes and about 180,000 confiscated by Israel for military bases and buffer zone.[16]

Tubas is 21 kilometers (13 mi) northeast of Nablus, 3.7 kilometers (2 mi) west of the Jordan River and 63 kilometers (39 mi) east of the Mediterranean Sea. Nearby localities include the town of Aqqaba to the north, Tayasir and Aqabah villages to the northeast, Ras al-Far'a to the southwest, the Palestinian refugee camp of Far'a to the south and the al-Bikai'a village cluster to the southeast.[1]

It has a moderate climate; the summer is hot and dry, and the winter is cold and wet. The average annual temperature is 21 °C (69.8 °F), and the average annual humidity rate is 56%.[1]


Tubas had a population of 3,349 in 1922 which rose to 4,097 in 1931, according to a British Mandate census. In Sami Hadawi's 1945 land and population survey, Tubas and nearby Bardala had a combined population of 5,530.[15] In 1964, Tubas alone had a population of 5,880.[17] About 1,100 residents fled Tubas after the 1967 Six-Day War mostly to the Souf refugee camp in Jordan,[18] while 260 emigrated there and in 1981 its population was 5,300.[19]

In the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics' (PCBS) first official census in 1997, Tubas had a population of 11,760 inhabitants. The gender make-up was 50.8% male and 49.2% female. Tubas has an overwhelmingly young population with 52.7% of the city's residents below the age of 20. People between the ages of 20 and 34 constitute 24.7%, 17.7% between the ages of 35 and 64, while people above the age of 64 constituted 4.9% of the population.[20] The census also revealed that refugees made up 6.1% of the total residents.[21]

In the PCBS's latest projection, Tubas had a population of 16,087 inhabitants in mid-year 2006,[22] increasing by 32.6% from 1997 and 3.2% from 2005. The city represents roughly a third (33.4%) of the Tubas Governorate's total population. The city's modern-era founders—the Daraghmeh clan—constitute 70% of Tubas.[1] The clan has several sub-families including Mslamany, Abd al-Razeq and Abu Khazaran.[23] The Sawafta family make-up 25%, the Husheh make-up 3% and the Fuquha represent the remaining 2%.[1] Nearly all of the inhabitants of Tubas are adherents of Islam,[7][2] but there is a community of approximately 60 Christians, all following the Greek Orthodox Church.[24]


The economical situation Tubas during the 1993–99 period was prosperous, however since the start of the Second Intifada in 2000–01, Tubas' income level has decreased by roughly 40%. Prior to the Intifada, the average household income was 2,500 NIS, receding to about 1,500 NIS. A major factor that has resulted from the conflict was the confiscation of agricultural land located within the city's or its governorate's jurisdiction by Israeli settlements or military authorities. According to the PCBS, in 1999, approximately 52% of the citizens were within the working age (15-64). Of the city's labor force, 48% are females.[1] The unemployment rate increased dramatically from 20% in 1999 to 70% after the year 2000.[1] Prior to the Intifada, 35% of the total labor force worked in Israel.[25]

Currently, agriculture constitutes 60% of Tubas' economic activity, public services comprise 17%, trade is 10%, Israeli labor is 8%, construction and industry make-up the remaining 5%. In the city, there are 240 shops and stores, 70 service institutions and 30 small factories.[1]


The main economic sector in Tubas is agriculture. There is a total of 150,000 dunams of arable land, of which 124,450 dunams are covered by forests and 10,604 dunams cultivated. Although the land is fertile, there is a lack of water for irrigation. The only spring used is the nearby Ein Far'a. Field crops account for 49% of the cultivable land, while fruit orchards account for 40% and vegetables make-up 11%. Israeli trenches around the neighboring villages of Ras al-Ahmar and Khirbet al-'Atuf prevent access to nearly 40% of Tubas' arable lands.[1] Many Tubas residents keep livestock, mostly sheep; In 2005, there was a total 6,670 sheep. Other livestock owned, include 96 cattle, 880 goats and 126,500 poultry. In addition, 123 beehives were kept.[16]


Tubas serves as the muhfaza ("capital" or "seat") of the Tubas Governorate. Since 1995, Tubas has been located in Area A, giving the PNA full control over its security, administration and civilian affairs.[1]

Tubas has been governed by a municipal council since 1953, when it was granted permission to do so by Jordanian authorities who controlled the West Bank at the time. The council is made up of 15 members including the mayor, and is headquartered in the municipal hall in the center of the town. The municipality has over 60 employees. Responsibilities of the municipality include civil administration, urban planning and development, social development services, distribution of social services, the issuing of building permits and infrastructural maintenance: water, electricity and solid waste collection.[1]


Auqab Daraghmeh was succeeded by Jamal Abdel Fattah Mahmoud Abu Mohsin, an independent candidate, elected in the 2005 Palestinian municipal elections. During the elections women won two seats, and though Tubas is normally a Fatah stronghold, all seats were won by independent political lists. The elected members of the Tubas municipal council are listed in the following table.[26]

Rank List Candidate name
1 Independent Jamal Abu Mohsin
2 Independent Ahmad al-Masa'eed
3 Independent Jamal Dbabat
4 Independent Khaled Sawafta
5 Independent Mujahid Sawafta
6 Independent Ahmad Mslamani
7 Independent Izat Khalil Sawafta
8 Independent Zayad Sawafta
9 Independent Iman Abdullah Daraghmeh
10 Independent Majli Jamil Sawafta
11 Independent Ahmad Dababat
12 Independent Hasan Abu al-Ailah
13 Independent Iqab Daraghmeh
14 Independent Ahmad Fayez Sawafta
15 Independent Iman Mustafa Daraghmeh


In 2004-05, Tubas had twelve schools; four for males, three for females and five co-educational. There were 4,924 students and 191 teachers. In addition, six kindergartens are located in the city, and have a total of 620 pupils. In 1997, the illiteracy rate was 14%; females comprised 78.3% of the illiterate population. Of the literate population, 25.7% completed elementary education, 23.3% completed preparatory education and 22.1% completed secondary or higher education.[1] The Al-Quds Open University based in Jerusalem, has a campus in Tubas known as Al-Quds Open University-Tubas Educational Region. In 2006, 1,789 students were enrolled in the university, it had 90 professors and 24 other employees.[27]

Local infrastructure

Tubas contains six mosques. The main mosques are the Abd ar-Rahan Mosque, the al-Tawled Mosque, Umar ibn al-Khattab Mosque, and Shaheed Mosque.[1] The Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is also located in Tubas, in the northern part of the city. The church was built in 1976 to serve the small Greek Orthodox community. It consists of a prayer room, a fellowship hall, an office, and a library for children.[28] The Sawafta family has an old palace in Tubas as well.[1]

Since Tubas is the capital and largest city in the Tubas Governorate, it acts as the main provider of services to the towns and villages of the governorate. All Palestinian National Authority offices that serve the governorate are located in the city. There are 21 government institutions in Tubas, including a post office, the Palestinian Ministry of Labor office, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture office, the Palestinian Ministry of Social Affairs office, the fire department and a police station.[1]


Buses and taxis are the primary means of transportation in Tubas. The total length of paved roads is 10,000 meters (32,808 ft), whereas there are 10,000 meters (32,808 ft) of deteriorating paved roads and 25,000 meters (82,021 ft) of road that are entirely unpaved. Tubas is located on Highway 588 connected to the main Ramallah-Nablus road (Highway 60) by a network of northeastern offshoots of the road, that pass through the villages of Azmut, al-Badhan and Ras al-Far'a. It is connected to Jenin from a northern road which passes through 'Aqqaba, Zababdeh and finally to Jenin.[1] Travel to Jordan is through Highway 57 which is connected with Highway 588 just to the south of Tubas.[29]

Health care

The city contains five health centers run by various organizations including the Palestinian Red Crescent.[25] There are no hospitals in Tubas, nor in the Tubas Governorate; Residents must travel to Nablus for hospital treatment, but there are two ambulances in Tubas for emergency transportation. There are four clinics in the city: Two are run by non-governmental organizations, one by the Palestinian National Authority and one is privately-owned. The clinics lack modern equipment and specialists, however. In addition, ten pharmacies exist in Tubas.[1]


Approximately 60% of the residents have telephone connection, and roughly 90% are connected to the water. The Tubas Municipality administers all water resources in and around the city. In addition, to the water network there is one spring (Far'a) in the immediate area which is the main provider of water for use in households. The city also has a water reservoir with a capacity of 900 cubic meters. This is primarily used to provide water to the urban areas of city during Summer, and is only available once on a weekly basis.[1]

From 1963 to 1997 local municipal-owned electric generators provided Tubas with all of its electricity needs. In 1997, the city connected with the Tubas Area Electricity Network which is provided by the Israeli Electric Cooperation. In that period, 99% of households in the city were connected with electricity. Solid waste management in Tubas is operated by the municipality and Joint Services Council. It is collected 3-4 times daily from the residential area, which is sent to a shared dumping site 3 kilometers (2 mi) from the city. The main disposal method used is burning. Tubas is not connected to the sewage network, therefore all households dispose of their waste water in cesspits, a major source of pollution in groundwater.[1]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 Tubas City Profile Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem. February 2006.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robinson, Edward. Smith, Eli. (1856). Later Biblical Researches in Palestine and the Adjacent Regions: A Journal of Travels in the Year 1852 J. Murray, pp.305-306.
  3. Judges 9:50-57
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rix, Herbert (1907). Tent and Testament: A Camping Tour in Palestine, with Some Notes on Scripture Site Williams and Norgate, pp.157-159.
  5. Skinner, J. (1895). The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments C. Scribner's Sons, p.268.
  6. Bromiley, Geoffery. (1995). International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Q-Z Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, p.825.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Byeways in Palestine (2007) Finn, James. James Nisbet & Co: pp.92-93
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Doumani, Beshara. (1995). Rediscovering Palestine, Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900: The Hinterland of Nablus: Local Trade Networks University of California Press.
  9. Palestine Exploration Fund. (1881). Quarterly Statement - Palestine Exploration Fund Palestine Exploration Fund's Office. p.201.
  10. Pipes, Daniel. (1990). Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition Middle East Forum, p.57.
  11. Bio Data - Tubas United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
  12. Yesterday's Strike on a Terror Squad in Tubas Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2002-04-06.
  13. Killing deliberately, 'by mistake' Al-Ahram Weekly. 2002-09-05.
  14. PA: IDF Kills Arab Rock Thrower in Samaria
  15. 15.0 15.1 Nablus District Stats from Village Statistics of 1945: A Classification of Land and Area ownership in Palestine (1970) Hadawi, Sami. The Palestine Liberation Organization Research Center
  16. 16.0 16.1 Tubas City Fact Sheet Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem.
  17. Stendel, Ori. (1968).Arab Villages in Israel and Judea-Samaria (the West Bank) Israel Economist, p.21.
  18. Souf Camp Dwellers DPA.
  19. Welcome to Tubas British Mandate Census via PalestineRemembered.
  20. Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years (1997) Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  21. Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status (1997) Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  22. Projected Mid -Year Population for Tubas District by Locality 2004- 2006
  23. Ras al-Far'a Village Profile Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem.
  24. Locations: Tubas Salt of the Earth.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Toubas (2005) Health Work Committees.
  26. Local elections (round one) - the winners according to local authority, gender and No. of votes obtained Higher Commission for Local Elections, pp.11-13. 2004-12-23.
  27. Toubas Educational Region Al-Quds Open University.
  28. al-Mashni, Osama. Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Tubas, Palestine
  29. Satellite view of Tubas

External links

Template:Cities in the West Bank


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





  1. Plural form of tuba.




tubas m. pl.

  1. Plural form of tuba.


  • Anagrams of abstu
  • butas



tubās f.

  1. accusative plural of tuba


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address