al-Bireh or el-Bira (Arabic: البيرة‎) is a Palestinian ceety adjacent tae Ramallah in the central Wast Bank, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north o Jerusalem. It is situatit on the central ridge runnin through the Wast Bank an is 860 metres (2,820 ft) abuin sea level, coverin an aurie o 22.4 square kilometres (8.6 sq mi). Its name means “Water Well,” an is believed tae be derived frae the biblical Beeroth.

Ither transcription(s)
 • Arabicالبيرة
 • An aa spelledal-Bira (unofficial)
Official logo of al-Bireh
Municipal Seal o Al-Bireh
GovrenorateRamallah & al-Bireh
 • TeepCeety
 • Heid o MunicipalityUmar Hammayil
 • Jurisdiction22.4 km2 (8.6 sq mi)
 • Jurisdiction38,802
Name meanin"The Water Well"

Acause o its location al-Bireh served as an economic crossroad atween the north an sooth, alang the caravan route atween Jerusalem an Nablus. Accordin tae the Palestinian Central Bureau o Statistics (PCBS), the toun haed a population o approximately 39,538 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.[1]



Al-Bireh haes been identifeed as the Biblical Be'eroth. It belangit tae the Jewish Tribe o Benjamin. It is mentioned bi Saunt Jerome who describit it as "a lairge veelage on the way tae Emmaus (Imwas), 7 miles frae Jerusalem."[2]

The Crusaders captured an namit the toun Birra. They built a castle, kirk an hospice there. The latter twa biggins wur built bi the Templars in 1146 an belangit tae the Kirk o the Holy Sepulchre. The Ayyubids unner Saladin drove away the Crusaders frae Birra when they reconquered interior Palestine after the Battle o Hittin in 1187, an completely demolished the toun. Yaqut al-Hamawi mentions seein the ruins a few times durin his travels in the aurie. Nearin the end o Ayyubid rule, in 1280, the modren toun o al-Bireh wis an inhabitit veelage. The Ayyubids built a mosque in the town dedicated tae Umar adjacent tae the kirk ruins.[2]

Till 1917, the ceety served as a poleetical an admeenistrative centre for the Ottoman Empire. On 6 Juin 1967, Israeli troops teuk control o the ceety durin the Sax-Day War. In 1994, the ceevil admeenistration o the ceety wis turned ower tae the Palestinian Naitional Authority unner the Oslo Accords. Al-Bireh is the seicont lairgest centre o Palestinian admeenistration efter Gaza. Besides the govrenor’s heidquarters, it an aw hosts a considerable number o govrenmental, non-govrenmental, an private organisations, includin the Meenistries o Transportation, Supply, Information, Public Wirks an Heicher Education, as well as the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation an the Palestinian Central Bureau o Statistics.[3] Due tae its proximity wi Ramallah, the touns form a single constituency for elections tae the Palestinian Naitional Authority.





In a 1922 survey bi the Breetish Mandate, al-Bireh haed a population o 1,479, risin tae 2,292 inhabitants in the 1931 census.[4] In a 1945 land an population survey bi Sami Hadawi, the town's residents numbered 2,920. [5]

The 1997 census carriet oot bi the Palestinian Central Bureau o Statistics coontit 27,856 residents, o which the gender distribution wis exactly hauf male an hauf female.[6] The majority o the inhabitants wur Palestinian refugees who made up 55.4% o the total population.[7] Accordin tae the PCBS, in mid-year 2006, al-Bireh haed a population o 39,538 inhabitants.[1] In the 2007 PCBS census, there wur 38,202 fowk livin in the ceety.[8]



The vast majority o the day's al-Bireh non-refugee inhabitants descend frae the auncient Palestinian-Canaanites who mixed wi Arabs frae the Bani Umar tribe when they came tae Palestine in late 16t-century.

Al-Bireh is inhabitit bi five major clans: Abed, Quraan, Hamayyel, Tawil, an Karakrah. Rafidi, a Christian family, was accepted into the Tawil clan.



Al-Bireh established a ceety cooncil heidit bi mayor Eid Musa in 1928 unner the Breetish Mandate. Aicht ither mayors teuk office either through elections or govrenment appointments follaein Musa, till 1982, when Israel dissolved the cooncil. They replaced it wi the Ceevil Admeenistration o Al-Bireh led bi an Israeli officer. In 1986, Israel appointit a temporary cooncil, but the municipal cooncil wis established in 1996 bi the Palestinian Naitional Authority (PNA) an consistit o 12 members wi Sheikh Jamal al-Tawil as mayor.[9]

In the Palestinian municipal elections, 2005 the Hamas-backed Reform an Chynge Leet wan 9 o the 15 seats, while independent leets wan the remainin 6.[10] The current an electit mayor is Umar Hammayil.

Al-Bireh, locatit in Area A, is unner the complete control o the PNA.



The the 7,000-seat Majed Ass'ad or Al Bireh International Stadium wis completit in 2010; oreeginally constructit in 1996, it wis upgradit tae internaitional staundarts frae 2006 tae 2010 at a cost o €3 million.[11] The wirk wis fundit bi Fraunce, the German Development Bank, the UN Development Agency, an FIFA.[12] Construction wis haltit bi the Israeli Supreme Planning Council on November 1, 2009, but resumit in late December.[13] The Psagot settlement an the advocacy group Regavim petitioned the Heich Court o Justice tae order the stadium's demolition on November 2, citin concerns that "10,000 inflamed Palestinians wad rise up efter a soccer gemme" an throw stanes at Psagot.[14]

Sister ceeties



  1. a b Projected Mid -Year Population for Ramallah & Al Bireh Governorate by Locality 2004- 2006 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
  2. a b Sharon, Moshe. (1997).Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae BRILL, 236-238.
  3. General view of al-Bireh Archived 2008-06-20 at the Wayback Machine Al-Bireh Municipality.
  4. Al-Bira Town Statistics and Facts Palestine Remembered.
  5. Hadawi, Sami. (1970). Ramallah District Statistics p.64.
  6. Palestinian Population by Locality, Sex and Age Groups in Years Archived 2008-11-19 at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  7. Palestinian Population by Locality and Refugee Status Archived 2008-11-19 at the Wayback Machine Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  8. 2007 PCBS Census Archived 2019-04-09 at the Wayback Machine. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.114.
  9. History o Ceety Cooncil Archived 2006-06-28 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Local Elections (Round Four)- Successful lists by local authority and No. of votes obtained[deid airtin] Central Elections Commission - Palestine.
  11. Municipal Development & Lending Fund. "MDLF has completed "Al Bireh International Stadium" project Funded by AFD". 21 April 2010. Archived frae the original on 25 Apryle 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  12. B'Tselem (25 November 2009). "Civil Administration chokes Palestinian construction". Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  13. "Al-Bireh stadium construction resumed under specter of halt". Ma'an News Agency. 31 December 2009. Archived frae the original on 15 Januar 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
  14. Hass, Amira (27 November 2009). "Settlers petition to tear down nearby Palestinian stadium". Ha'aretz. Retrieved 31 October 2010.

Freemit airtins


Template:Ramallah an al-Bireh Govrenorate