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Deir Debwan
Other transcription(s)
 • Arabic دير دبوان
 • Also spelled Deir Debwan (official)
Dayr Debwan (unofficial)
Deir Debwan is located in the Palestinian territories
Deir Debwan
Deir Debwan
Location of Deir Debwan within the Palestinian Territories
Coordinates: 31°54′39″N 35°16′14″E / 31.91083°N 35.27056°E / 31.91083; 35.27056Coordinates: 31°54′39″N 35°16′14″E / 31.91083°N 35.27056°E / 31.91083; 35.27056
Governorate Ramallah & al-Bireh
 • Type Village council
Population (2006)
 • Jurisdiction 5,252
Name meaning "The Monastery of the Divan"[1]

Deir Dibwan (Arabic: دير دبوان‎‎) is a Palestinian town in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate in the central West Bank 7 kilometers east of Ramallah. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics the town had a population of approximately 5,252 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.[2] There were 5,016 people from Deir Dibwan living abroad.[3] Deir Dibwan was built close to the ruins of Et-Tell.


The word "Deir" means monastery (church or temple) and the word "dibwan" came from the name of the "divan", or Council. It has also been called Deir Dubwan, where "Dubwan" is a proper name.[1]


Et-Tell is a mound located just west of the village.

Potsherds from the Middle Bronze Age, Iron Age II, Hellenistic/Roman, Byzantine, Crusader/Ayyubid and Mamluk era have been found.[4]

Deir Dibwan have been identified with the Crusader site named Dargebaam, or Dargiboan.[5]

Ottoman era[edit]

Potsherds from the early Ottoman era have been found.[4]

In the late Ottoman period, in 1838, the American scholar Edward Robinson described Deir Dibwan as being "tolerably wealthy", and reportedly the producer of great quantities of figs.[6]

The French explorer Victor Guérin visited the village in July 1863, and described it as having five hundred inhabitants, situated on a rocky plateau. The highest point of the plateau was occupied by the remains of an old construction, which people referred to as Ed-Deir (the Monastery). He also note several cisterns dug into the rock, which he assumed dated from antiquity.[7] An Ottoman village list of about 1870 showed that "Der Diwan" had 161 houses and a population of 459, though the population count included only men.[8]

In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine described Deir Diwan as a "large and well-built stone village, standing on flat ground, with a rugged valley to the north and open ground to the south. There are a few scattered olives round the place. The inhabitants are partly Christian."[9]

British Mandate period[edit]

In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities, the village, called Dair Dilwan, had a population of 1,382, all Muslims,[10] while in the 1931 census, the village had 384 occupied houses and a population of 1688, still all Muslims.[11]

In 1945 the population was 2,080, all Arabs, while the total land area was 73,332 dunams, according to an official land and population survey.[12] Of this, 5,052 were allocated for plantations and irrigable land, 10,695 for cereals,[13] while 164 dunams were classified as built-up areas.[14]


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


After the Six-Day War in 1967, Deir Dibwan has been under Israeli occupation.


According to the Israeli government,[15] Israel's Supreme Court,[16] and the Israeli organisation Peace Now, the land the illegal Israeli settlement of Migron sits on is owned by a number of Palestinian families living in Burqa and Deir Dibwan.[17]

In August 2008 the settler leadership of Migron were to vote on an Israeli Defense Ministry proposal to relocate the unauthorized Migron outpost, possibly to an undeveloped area of a nearby settlement. From the Israeli government-commissioned Sasson Report it was concluded that more than 4 million NIS of public funds were illegally invested in the outpost. On 17 December 2006 the Israeli State responded a petition from the legal owners, Palestinians from Deir Dibwan and Burqa, the Israeli State admitted that there was never any authorisation from any official, granted for its establishment. In addition the Israeli State admitted the outpost stands on private Palestinian land. After Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to evacuate the unauthorized outpost of Migron the Israeli State Prosecution informed the Israeli High Court of Justice of the decision.[18][19][20]

Deir Dibwan Association[edit]

In the United States, there is The Deir Debwan Association headquartered in San Francisco. Membership is not limited to any specific clan or Tribes and it has representatives from each clan or Tribes as well as refugee groups living in the town. The association serves to provide a link to the town, a source of identity to its members, to increase their members' honor and increase the town's honor as well. This association provides a source of honor for those in the United States and for relatives in the town.

The association web site is www.deirdebwancharity.com


  1. ^ a b Palmer, 1881, p. 293
  2. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.114.
  3. ^ Deir Debwan Official Website
  4. ^ a b Finkelstein et al., 1997, p. 533
  5. ^ Finkelstein et al., 1997, p. 533, citing Prawer and Benvenisti, 1970. Note that Conder, 1890, p. 30 was of an other opinion.
  6. ^ Robinson and Smith, 1841, p. 118 ff, 312
  7. ^ Guérin, 1869, p. 53-54
  8. ^ Socin, 1879, p. 151
  9. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1883, p. 9
  10. ^ Barron, 1923, Table VII, Sub-district of Ramallah, p. 16
  11. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 48.
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 64
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 111
  14. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 161
  15. ^ Chaim Levinson 02.08.11 (2 August 2011). "Israel's Supreme Court orders state to dismantle largest West Bank outpost". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Tovah Lazaroff "Migron settlers sign relocation agreement" at Jerusalem Post, 11 March 2012: "According to the court, Migron was constructed without proper permits on land that the state has classified as belonging to private Palestinians.."
  17. ^ "The Migron Petition". Peace Now. October 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  18. ^ Peace now
  19. ^ "State: Migron outpost to be evacuated within six months" Ha'aretz 23 January 2008 by Yuval Yoaz
  20. ^ "Settlers leaders to vote on moving Migron outpost" The Jerusalem Post 7 August 2008 by Tovah Lazaroff


External links[edit]

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