Nablus - City of Israel
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately 63 kilometers north of Jerusalem. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.
ISRAEL National Animal : Mountain Gazelle
Today, the city's population is predominantly Muslim, with small Christian and Samaritan minorities. Since 1995, day-to-day administration is the purview of the Palestinian National Authority, though Israel retains control over entrances and exits to the city. There are three Palestinian refugee camps located around Nablus, established in 1949–50. In the Old City, there are a number of sites of archaeological significance, spanning the 1st to 15th centuries. Regionally famous for its native sweet kanafeh and traditionally well-known for its soap industry, Nablus' main economic sectors are in industry and commerce.
Flavia Neapolis was founded in 72 CE by the Roman emperor Vespasian over an older Samaritan village, Mabartha .Located between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, the new city lay 2 kilometers west of the Biblical city of Shechem which was destroyed by the Romans that same year during the First Jewish-Roman War. Holy places at the site of the city's founding include Joseph's Tomb and Jacob's Well. Due to the city's strategic geographic position and the abundance of water from nearby springs, Neapolis prospered, accumulating extensive territory, including the former Judean toparchy of Acraba.
Conflict amongst the Christian population of Neapolis emerged in 451. By this time, Neapolis along with all of Palestine and Syria was under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. The tension was a result of Monophysite Christian attempts to prevent the return of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Juvenal, to his episcopal see.
Neapolis, along with most of Palestine, was conquered by the Arabs under Khaled ibn al-Walid — a general of the Muslim Rashidun army of Umar ibn al-Khattab — in 636 after the Battle of Yarmouk.The city's name was retained in its Arabicized form, Nablus.
During World War I, British and Arab forces fought together to defeat Ottoman forces in the Sinai and Palestine campaign. Despite British assurances for Arab independence, as outlined in the McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, Palestine became a British Mandate as assigned by the League of Nations in 1922. An earthquake in Palestine in 1927 destroyed many of the Nablus' historic buildings, including the an-Nasr mosque. Though they were subsequently rebuilt by the Amin al-Husayni's Supreme Muslim Council in the mid-1930s, their previous "picturesque" character was lost. During British rule, Nablus emerged as a site of local resistance and the old city quarter of Qaryun was demolished by the British during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine.
The relatively temperate Mediterranean climate brings hot, dry summers and cool, rainy winters to Nablus. Spring arrives around March-April and the hottest months in Nablus are July and August with the average high being 28.9 °C .
In 891 CE, during the early centuries of Islamic rule, Nablus had a diverse population of Samaritans, Arab Muslims, and local Christians. Arab traveler Dimashki, recorded that under Mamluk rule, Muslims, Samaritans, Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Jews populated the city.
Nablus and its culture enjoy a certain renown throughout Palestine and the Arab world with significant and unique contributions to Palestinian culture, cuisine and costume. Nabulsi, meaning "from Nablus", is used to describe items such as handicrafts and food products that are made in Nablus or in the traditional Nablus style.
According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics , in 1997, approximately 70% of Nablus' population over the age of 10 was literate. Of the city's population, 44,926 were enrolled in schools . About 19.8% of high school students received bachelor diplomas or higher diplomas.In 2006, there were 234 schools and 93,925 students in the Nablus Governorate; 196 schools are run the by Education Ministry of the Palestinian National Authority, 14 by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and 24 are private schools.
Nablus is also home to an-Najah National University, the largest Palestinian university in the West Bank. Founded in 1918 by the an-Najah Nabulsi School, it became a college in 1941 and a university in 1977. An-Najah was closed down by Israeli authorities during the First Intifada, but was reopened in 1991. Today, the university has three campuses in Nablus with over 16,500 students and 300 professors. The university's faculties include seven in the humanities and nine in the sciences.