Nablus is a bustling city with people coming from afar to shop, work and learn. It has the biggest university in the West Bank and has been the centre of Palestinian commercial activity. It also has the largest refugee camp in the West Bank – Balata camp has about 27,000 people who, in 1948, left their homes in what is now Israel. Balata is grossly overcrowded being just 0.25 sq km which results in about 108,000 people per square kilometer.
Nablus city has about 200,000 residents with many more in the surrounding villages which make up the Nablus governorate.
A major issue is the illegal Israeli settlements which surround Nablus and which have a profound effect on its life.
Nablus remains under military occupation. Israeli troops took the West Bank in 1967. As a result of the Oslo accords, Nablus City has a Mayor and the wider Nablus region has a Governor. But Israeli troops still enter the city when they choose and often make arbitrary arrests – the Israeli scheme of Administrative Detention allows for arrest and imprisonment without charge or due judicial process.
Nablus has about 200,000 people
About half of the people in Nablus are below 20 years of age and the total population is increasing substantially.
Israeli settlements restrict the outward growth of Nablus so it spreads as widely as it can but also upwards in high-rise buildings.
Nablus is in the Israeli-occupied West Bank – part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
It lies in a valley between two mountains: Mount Ebal and Mount Gerazim.
Nablus is about 30km north of Jerusalem.