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  • פַסּוּטָה
  • فسّوطه
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • ISO 259 P̄assúṭa
Entrance to Fassouta
Entrance to Fassouta
Fassuta is located in Israel
Grid position 179/272 PAL
District Northern
 • Type Local council
Population (2005)
 • Total 2,900
Name meaning Fassute, personal name[1]

Fassuta is an Arab town on the northwestern slopes of Mount Meron in the Northern District of Israel, south of the Lebanese border.[2] In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900.


  • History 1
    • Ottoman era 1.1
    • British Mandate era 1.2
  • Demographics 2
  • Religion and culture 3
  • Archaeology 4
  • Notable residents 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Bibliography 8
  • External links 9


In the Crusader era Fassuta was known as Fassove, and in 1183 it was noted that Godfrey de Tor sold the land of the village to Joscelin III.[3] In 1220 Jocelyn III´s daughter Beatrix de Courtenay and her husband Otto von Botenlauben, Count of Henneberg, sold their land, including Fassove, to the Teutonic Knights.[4][5]

Ottoman era

Fassuta was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1517, and by 1596 it was part of the Nahiya of Akka of the Liwa of Safad. It had a population of 12 Muslim households and 3 Muslim bachelors. It paid taxes on wheat, barley, fruit trees, and goats or beehives.[6]

In 1881, the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Fassuta as "a village, built of stone, containing about 200 Christians, situated on ridge, with gardens of figs, olives, and arable land. There are two cisterns in the village, and a good spring near."[7]

British Mandate era

Mar Elias Church

At the time of the 1922 census of Palestine conducted by the British Mandate, Fassuta had a population of 459, 444 Christians and 15 Muslims,[8] while in the 1931 census, the combined population of Fassuta and Mansura was 507 Palestinian Christians and 81 Muslims, living in a total of 129 houses.[9]

By 1945 Fassuta had 1,050 Christians.[10] The combined population of Fassuta, Al-Mansura and Dayr al-Qasi was 2,300, and their total land area was 34,011 dunums.[10][11] 1,607 dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 6,475 used for cereals,[12] while 247 dunams were built-up (urban) land.[13]

At the end of October 1948 the village was captured by the Israeli army during Operation Hiram. Most of the Muslim population fled or were expelled but many of the Christians remained. In December 1949 the IDF put forward a plan to expel the remaining population of Fassuta and five other villages in order to create a 5–10 km Arab-free zone along the Lebanon border. This plan was blocked by the Foreign Ministry which feared international reaction.[14] The Arab population remained under Martial Law until 1966.

Between 1922 and 1947, the population of Fassuta increased by 120%.[15]


In 2005, the population of Fassuta was 2,900 residents, with an annual population growth rate of 0.9%. All of the inhabitants are Christian Arabs. In 2000, 60.5% of Fassuta high school students passed the Bagrut matriculation exam. In 2000, the mean income was NIS 3,748, compared to a national average of NIS 6,835.

Religion and culture

In 2007, the Mar Elias Church in Fassuta celebrated its 100th anniversary. The church is named after Elias, the village's patron saint. A large statue of Mar Elias stands in the central square.[2]


In 1875, Guerin found traces of ancient ruins: "Numerous cisterns, a great reservoir, vestiges of many ruined houses, fine cut stones marking out floors, and a dozen of presses nearly perfect. These presses are all on the same model : worked in the rock, they consisted of two compartments, one larger, in which the grapes were placed, and one smaller and lower down, in which the juice was received. In the humble church of the modern hamlet I remarked a chapter imitating Corinthian, and probably of Byzantine period. On two of its faces a cross with equal branches has been sculptured. Above the door of the main church has been placed for a lintel a fragment of frieze decorated with flowers and foliage elegantly executed."[16]

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Palmer, 1881, p. 72
  2. ^ a b Stern, Yoav (2007-04-30). "Galilee Villages Launch Campaign to Attract Christian Pilgrims".  
  3. ^ Strehlke, 1869, pp. 15-16, No. 16; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 125, No. 624; cited in Frankel, 1988, pp. 257, 264
  4. ^ Strehlke, 1869, pp. 43- 44, No. 53; cited in Röhricht, 1893, RRH, p. 248, No. 934; cited in Frankel, 1988, pp. 257, 264
  5. ^ Marzorati, Gerald (1988-09-11). "An Arab Voice in Israel".  
  6. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 194
  7. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 197
  8. ^ Barron, 1923, Table XI, Sub-district of Acre, p. 36
  9. ^ Mills, 1932, p. 100
  10. ^ a b The Palestine GovernmentVillage Statistics April 1945,, p. 2
  11. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 40 Note that Hadawi includes Al-Mansura, Acre
  12. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 80
  13. ^ Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics. Village Statistics, April, 1945. Quoted in Hadawi, 1970, p. 130
  14. ^ Morris, 1987, pp. 225, 242, 251
  15. ^ Transformation in Arab Settlement, Moshe Brawer, in The Land that Became Israel: Studies in Historical Geography, Ruth Kark (ed), Magnes Press, Jerusalem 1989, p.177
  16. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 67, as translated by Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 222
  17. ^ "Anton Shammas". Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 


  • Abu-‘Uqsa, Hanaa Abu-‘Uqsa (2013-12-12). "Fassuta, Survey Final Report" (125). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel. 
  • Barron, J. B., ed. (1923). Palestine: Report and General Abstracts of the Census of 1922 (PDF). Government of Palestine. 
  • Bron, Hendrik (Enno) (2007-04-22). "Fassuta Final Report" (119). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel. 
  • Bron, Hendrik (Enno) (2010-05-18). "Fassuta Preliminary Report" (122). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel. 
  • Dauphin, Claudine (1998). La Palestine byzantine, Peuplement et Populations. BAR International Series 726 (in French). III : Catalogue. Oxford: Archeopress.  (p. 633 )
  • Frankel, Rafael (1988). "Topographical notes on the territory of Acre in the Crusader period".  
  • Hütteroth, Wolf-Dieter; Abdulfattah, Kamal (1977). Historical Geography of Palestine, Transjordan and Southern Syria in the Late 16th Century. Erlanger Geographische Arbeiten, Sonderband 5. Erlangen, Germany: Vorstand der Fränkischen Geographischen Gesellschaft.  
  • Mills, E., ed. (1932). Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas (PDF). Jerusalem: Government of Palestine. 
  • Strehlke, Ernst, ed. (1869). Tabulae Ordinis Theutonici ex tabularii regii Berolinensis codice potissimum. Berlin: Weidmanns. 
  • Tahan, Hagit (2008-12-30). "Fassuta Final Report" (121). Hadashot Arkheologiyot – Excavations and Surveys in Israel. 

External links

  • Welcome To Fassuta
  • Survey of Western Palestine, Map 4: IAA,
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