Beit Ummar

The sign above the entrance reads: ‘Beit Ummar says Welcome!’ And once inside, the friendliness doesn’t stop. This welcoming, attractive and lively town is spread out over a cluster of peaks, just 11km north of Hebron. The bustling high street is always home to tractors motoring along nonchalantly, while there is a good variety of shops and businesses dotted along the road.

Away from the main road, the architecture is simple yet beautiful, with charming old houses waiting to be discovered down side streets, in varying degrees of disrepair. Grape vines and fig trees provide shelter from the sun in the height of summer, and help paint the town a tranquil green colour. But it has not been plain sailing for Beit Ummar, since the Second Intifada unemployment has tended to range between 60-80% due largely to the inability to work in Israel.

Population: 13,348 (2007)

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What To Do

The Old City is the most beautiful part of town, with the old mosque the stand-out attraction. Although the historic houses with the traditional Arab domed roofs – designed to keep the home cool in the summer – are also intriguing to explore.

There are many shops in the centre of town for stocking up on supplies.

Where To Eat

Their is a big focus on grapes in Beit Ummar, particularly one culinary tradition involving stuffed grape leaves, known as waraq al-’inib. In term of restaurants, either head 11km south to Hebron or up north to Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala or even Jerusalem for a great variety.

Where To Stay

There are four hotels in Hebron. Alternatively, in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and the surrounding area there is a much greater range of accommodation, catering to all needs.