Jenin (Ar. Janīn) is an Arab town in Samaria, situated in the southern corner of the Jezreel Valley, near the junction of roads running to Haifa, Afulah, Nazareth, and Nablus. At the end of the 19th century, Jenin’s population was below 1,000, but by 1943 had increased to 3,900. In the 1967 census conducted by Israel, the town proper had 8,346 inhabitants; 4,480 more lived in a refugee camp within the municipal confines. Only 90 were Christians, all the rest Muslims.
Jenin’s economy is based mainly on agriculture which utilizes the abundance of springwater and the fertile soil of the vicinity. Before 1948, and again from 1967, the town's position at an important crossroads contributed to its development. It also made it an important base for the Turko-German forces in World War I, until the British Army captured Jenin in September 1918.
triangle (whose other two corners were Tulkarm and Nablus) from which attacks against Jewish villages in the Jezreel Valley were launched. In the Israeli War of Independence, the Arab Liberation Army under Fawzī al-Qāwuqjī set out from Jenin to attack Mishmar Ha-Emek in an effort to break through to Haifa, but was driven back.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.