Deir Dibwan

Deir Dibwan
Dier Debwan
Other transcription(s)
 – Arabic دير دبوان
 – Also spelled Deir Debwan (official)
Dayr Debwan (unofficial)
Dier Debwan is located in the Palestinian territories
Dier Debwan
Location of Dier Debwan within the Palestinian territories
Coordinates: 31°54′38.83″N 35°16′13.78″E / 31.9107861°N 35.2704944°E / 31.9107861; 35.2704944Coordinates: 31°54′38.83″N 35°16′13.78″E / 31.9107861°N 35.2704944°E / 31.9107861; 35.2704944
Governorate Ramallah & al-Bireh
 – Type Village Council
Population (2006)
 – Jurisdiction 5,252
Name meaning "Devan's Monastery"

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.[1] There were 5,016 people from Deir Dibwan living abroad.[2] Deir Dibwan was built close to the ruins of Et-Tell possibly after it was destroyed by Joshua (ca. 1400 BC [early date] or 1250 BC [late date])



The word "Deir" means monastery (church or temple) and the word "dibwan" came from the name of the missionary "devan" or "debwa" or "bwan" that was in charge of this monastery. In the old days, monasteries were named after the missionary name and that’s where "Deir Dibwan" was derived from.

Archeological discoveries

Et-Tell is a mound located about 10 mi north-northeast of Jerusalem – just west of the village of Deir Dibwan. The site was excavated at various times by different anthropologists. The most prominent remains – very extensive – are from the Early Bronze Age. There was a small unwalled village here during the Iron Age. This site, primarily because of its location in relation to Beitin (biblical Bethel), is often identified with biblical Ai – a ruin or city that is mentioned in the Patriarchal and Joshua narratives. The problem with this identification is that no one was living here at the time of the conquest of Joshua (ca. 1400 BC [early date] or 1250 BC [late date]). Alternative sites for "Ai" have been suggested, but it is still the most probable site.


Deir Dibwan was originally founded as an agricultural village that has grown dramatically over the last ten years and developed into a thriving town. Deir Dibwan is filled with supermarkets, delis, sweet shops, restaurants, bakeries, a hospital, clinics, banks, schools and a pharmacy. Most of Deir Dibwan's economy has been sustained by money from migrants in the United States, but it was after the Second Intifada that the town's economy grew dramatically. With the closure of strategic routes, many people from the surrounding villages and within the town began investing and spending their money in the town. As a result, the town's GDP and trade has increased widely. Ironically, the town has benefited greatly while other villages, towns and cities in the West Bank have been dealt a recession.

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.[3][4][5][6]

Deir Dibwan Association

In the United States, there is The Deir Debwan Association headquartered in San Francisco. Membership is not limited to any specific clan and it has representatives from each clan 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



  1. ^ 2007 PCBS Census. Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. p.114.
  2. ^ Deir Debwan Official Website
  3. ^ Peace now
  4. ^ Ha'aretz 23 January 2008 State: Migron outpost to be evacuated within six months By Yuval Yoaz
  5. ^ Jpost 7 August 2008 Settlers leaders to vote on moving Migron outpost By Tovah Lazaroff
  6. ^ West Bank's own slice of America

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