Deir Ballut
Arabic transcription(s)
 • Arabicدير بلّوط
 • LatinDayr Ballout (official)
Deir al-Ballut (unofficial)
Deir Ballut
Deir Ballut
Deir Ballut
Location of Deir Ballut within Palestine
Deir Ballut
Deir Ballut
Location of Deir Ballut within the West Bank
Coordinates: 32°03′55″N 35°01′30″E / 32.06528°N 35.02500°E / 32.06528; 35.02500Coordinates: 32°03′55″N 35°01′30″E / 32.06528°N 35.02500°E / 32.06528; 35.02500
Palestine grid152/163
StateState of Palestine
 • TypeVillage council
Elevation236 m (774 ft)
 • Total3,195
Name meaning"Monastery (or Convent) of the Oak"[2]

Deir Ballut (Arabic: دير بلّوط) is a Palestinian town located in the Salfit Governorate in the northern West Bank, 41 kilometers (25 mi) south west of Nablus. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, it had a population of 3,195 in 2007.[3]


Deir Ballut is located 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) west of Salfit. It is bordered by Kafr ad Dik to its east, Al Lubban al Gharbi to the south, Kafr Qasem to the west, and Rafat to the north.[1]


Sherds from the Iron Age, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad/Abbasid and Crusader/Ayyubid eras have been found here.[4]

The "great valley" of Wadi Deir Ballut was identified by Charles William Wilson (1836–1905) as the boundary between Judaea and Samaria, as defined by first-century historian Josephus.[5]

Arab geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi records in 1226 that "Deir al-Ballut was a village of district around ar-Ramla."[6]

Ottoman era

In 1838, it was noted as a Muslim village, Deir Balut, in Jurat Merda, south of Nablus.[7]

In 1870 Victor Guérin found it to be a village of one hundred and fifty people. However, judging by the extent of the ruins that covered the hill where it stood, Guérin thought it had once been a large city. Most houses were built with large stones.[8]

In 1882 the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it as "a small village, partly ruinous, but evidently once a place of greater importance, with rock-cut tombs. The huts are principally of stone. The water supply is from wells."[9] To the west of the village are rock-tombs, from a Christian age.[10]

WWI and British Mandate era

During World War I, Deir Ballut was the site of a minor engagement between Turkish and British troops on March 12, 1918.

In the 1922 census of Palestine Deir Ballut had a population of 384 inhabitants, all Muslim,[11] rising to 532 in the 1931 census, still all Muslim, in a total of 91 houses.[12]

In the 1945 statistics the population was 720, all Muslim[13] while the total land area was 14,789 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[14] Of this, 508 dunams were for plantations and irrigable land, 3,488 for cereals,[15] while 63 dunams were classified as built-up (urban) areas.[16]

Jordanian era

In the wake of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and after the 1949 Armistice Agreements, Deir Ballut came under Jordanian rule.

In 1961, the population was 1,087.[17]


Since the Six-Day War in 1967, Deir Ballut has been under Israeli occupation.

After the 1995 accords, 5.2% of village land was classified as Area B, the remaining 94.8% as Area C. Israel has confiscated 171 dunums of village land in for the Israeli settlements of Peduel and Alei Zahav.[18]

By 2020, there were reports about untreated sewage from the nearby Israeli settlements of Leshem, Peduel and Beit Aryeh-Ofarim being dumped on Deir Ballut land.[19]

View of Deir Ballut (foreground) from Peduel

In January 2021 the Israeli military authority had some 3,000 olive trees planted by the villagers uprooted. Many has been planted as long as 15 years earlier. The destruction,on the grounds that the area in question was, in Israeli law, Israeli state property, took place six days after a legal appeal had been made against the order. The authorities then stated that the uprooting occurred before knowledge of the filed appeal papers came to their notice.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b Deir Ballut Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 4
  2. ^ Palmer 1881, p. 228
  3. ^ 2007 PCBS Census Archived December 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p. 112.
  4. ^ Finkelstein et al, 1997, p. 242
  5. ^ Wilson, c. 1881, vol 1, p. 232, accessed 31 May 2018
  6. ^ Le Strange, 1890, p. 428.
  7. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, vol 3, Appendix 2, p. 126
  8. ^ Guérin, 1875, p. 130
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 284
  10. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1882, SWP II, p. 313
  11. ^ Barron, 1923, Table IX, Sub-district of Nablus, p. 26
  12. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 60
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1945, p. 18
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 59
  15. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 105
  16. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 155
  17. ^ Government of Jordan, Department of Statistics, 1964, p. 26
  18. ^ Deir Ballut Town Profile, ARIJ, p. 16
  19. ^ 'Paradise lost': How Israel turned the West Bank into a sewage dump for its settlements, By Shatha Hammad, 21 October 2020, Middle East Eye
  20. ^ Hagar Shezaf, 'Israeli Authorities Uproot Thousands of Olive Trees Despite Palestinians' Appeal,' Haaretz 25 January 2021.