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Jenin

JENIN

Palestinian city in the West Bank.

Jenin (also Janin) is one of three Palestinian towns (the others being Nablus and Tulkarm) that formed the "Triangle" region of north-central Palestine. The city was noted in history for the bounty of its agriculture, particularly fruits and vegetables. Both the Ottomans and the British made Jenin the administrative center of an administrative sub-governorate bearing its name as well.

The ArabIsrael War (1948) changed the town's fortunes drastically. It was noteworthy for the fact that, although the Haganah captured Jenin briefly in June 1948, it quickly withdrew after fighting with Palestinian and Iraqi forces. The eventual cease-fire lines left the city within the Jordanian-controlled West Bank, and cut it off from the traditional markets for its agricultural exports to the north and west, in what now had become Israel. Beyond this, the war caused the population to increase from 3,990 in 1945 to 10,000 as Palestinian refugees swelled the town's ranks. From June 1967 until November 1995, Jenin lay under Israeli military occupation until it came under the control of the Palestinian Authority. By 1997, Jenin's population stood at 26,650.

During the al-Aqsa Intifada that began in 2000, the Israeli army reoccupied parts of the city on several occasions. The eleven-day Israeli assault on the nearby Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, populated by some 10,000 refugees, devastated the camp. The destruction prompted international outrage, and "Jenin" became a symbol of the violence of the second Intifada.

see also aqsa intifada, al-; arabisrael war (1948); west bank.


Bibliography


Fischbach, Michael R. "Jenin." In Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, edited by Philip Mattar. New York: Facts On File, 2000.

michael r. fischbach

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Jenin

Jenin (jĕ´nēn), town (2003 est. pop. 34,000), West Bank, at the southern entrance to the Esdraelon Valley and on the northern edge of the Samarian Highlands. It is an important crossroads, urban center, and market town and is also the site of a large Palestinian refugee camp. The town's economy is based on service, craft, some industry, and local agriculture, which produces wheat, barley, olives, dates, figs, and vegetables.

Jenin is believed to have been built on the site of the ancient city of Ein-Ganam, mentioned in the Egyptian Amarna tablets (see Tell el Amarna), or the biblical town of Ginnat. Once the site of a Byzantine church, now in ruins, Jenin was captured by Christian knights during the Crusades. The town was used as a Turkish-German army base during World War I, became part of the Palestine mandate (1923–48), and was annexed (1950) by Jordan. A center of Palestinian guerrilla activity after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Jenin was occupied by Israel from the Six-Day War (1967) until 1995, when it came under Palestinian control. Jenin was the center of fierce Israeli-Palestinian fighting in 2002, when the town was heavily damaged.

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"Jenin." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Jenin

JENIN

JENIN (Ar. Janīn ), Arab town in Samaria, situated in the southern corner of the Jezreel Valley, near the junction of roads running to *Haifa, Afulah, Nazareth, and Nablus. At the end of the 19th century, Jenin's population was below 1,000, but by 1943 had increased to 3,900. In the 1967 census conducted by Israel, the town proper had 8,346 inhabitants; 4,480 more lived in a refugee camp within the municipal confines. Only 90 were Christians, all the rest Muslims. Jenin's economy is based mainly on agriculture which utilizes the abundance of springwater and the fertile soil of the vicinity. Before 1948, and again from 1967, the town's position at an important crossroads contributed to its development. It also made it an important base for the Turko-German forces in World War i, until the British Army captured Jenin in September 1918. In the 1936–39 Arab riots, Jenin lay at the apex of the aggressive Arab "triangle" (whose other two corners were Tul-Karm and Nablus) from which attacks against Jewish villages in the Jezreel Valley were launched. In the Israel *War of Independence, the Arab Liberation Army under Fawzī al-Qāwuqjī set out from Jenin to attack Mishmar ha-Emek in an effort to break through to Haifa, but was driven back. On June 2, 1948, Jewish units attacked from the north and took most of the town, but had to evacuate it again when overwhelming Iraqi forces arrived to relieve the Arab positions in the hills around. In the *Six-Day War (1967), Jenin constituted a forward Jordanian position. It fell after Israel columns entered the Dotan Valley to its rear and overcame a Jordanian counterattack (June 6, 1967). Jenin was transferred to the jurisdiction of the *Palestinian Authority following the 1995 Taba Agreement. During the so-called al-Aqsa Intifada (see *Israel, State of, under Historical Survey), Jenin was a hotbed of terrorist activity and often targeted by Israeli forces, most notably in Operation Defensive Shield in the spring of 2002. The controversial film Jenin, Jenin purported to document Israeli atrocities and was banned by the Israel Film Board for its distortions, a decision later overturned by Israel's Supreme Court. In 1997 the population of Jenin numbered 26,650 inhabitants, among them 50% refugees. Jenin is sometimes identified with biblical *En-Gannim.

[Efraim Orni]

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