Located about 43km north of Nablus, on the ancient trade road from Nablus through wadi Bal’ama and across the plain of Marj Ibn Amer and Lajjun to Haifa ,and an altitude about ( 100-250) above the sea level . The name was derived from Ein Ganim meaning the spring of Ganim and referring to the region’s plentiful spring. Jenin Knows as Gina in the Amarna letters in the fourteenth century B.C, and Gina in the Roman period in crusader period the city named Grand Grin.
Today, Jenin is a picturesque town built on the slopes of a hill and surrounded with gardens of carob, fig, and palm trees. It is distinguished by its agriculture, producing an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Burqin: The Church of the Ten Lepers
The village of Burqin lies about 5 km west of Jenin at the northern end of the Arraba plain. The village is mentioned in several historical sources. In the sixteenth century it was described as a small village. Archaeological surveys in Burqin have revealed evidence of remains from the early Bronze Age, middle Bronze Age, late Bronze Age, Iron Age, and the Roman, Byzantine, Ummayad, Ayyubid, Mamluk, and early Ottoman periods.
Saint George’s Church is located on the northern slope of the historic centre of the village, overlooking Wadi Burqin and belongs to the Greek Orthodox community. The church was dedicated to Saint George (Al-Khader), a popular saint for both Christians and Muslims.
The first systematic survey of the church was carried out by the Palestinian Department of Antiquities in 1997. According to the survey, four main architectural phases in the history of the church may be discerned. The first church was in a cave, which was originally a Roman cistern. The cave and the church were identified as remains of the Byzantine period. In the second phase, a church was built in front of the cave, between the sixth and the ninth centuries. It was described in documents from the Crusader and Ottoman periods. The present church consists of the cave, the main hall, and the nave. It was rebuilt during the eighteenth century AD.
The Church of Saint George in Burqin is linked with the tradition of the ten lepers mentioned in the New Testament. According to Christian tradition (Luke 17:11–19), Christ entered the village on his way to Galilee and miraculously healed ten lepers who asked for his help. Therefore, the church is known locally as the Church of the Ten Lepers.
Tell Taannek is a pear-shaped mound approximately 14 acres in size. The site is located at the northern end of the Nablus ridge and at the southern edge of Marj Ibn Amer, 8 km south of Tell Al-Mutesellim (Megiddo). The site occupies a strategic location on the border between the mountainous area and the plains on the main route between Jenin and Haifa. It is west of the historical pass, Wadi Hasan, and east of Al-Yamoun.
The modern Palestinian village Taannek, located on the southeastern slope of the Tell still bears the ancient name Taannach. The name was mentioned around 1350 BC in the Amarna letters. Taannek was mentioned as a captured city during the Thutmose III’s military campaign in Asia in 1468 BC. The city was captured again by Shishak I in 918 BC during his campaign in Palestine. The site was mentioned several times in the Bible as a Canaanite town undefeated by Joshua. Later Taannek was mentioned as a large village in the fourth century AD by Eusebius and in the Crusader records from the Middle Ages.
Located 6 km south of Burqin, Zababdeh is built over the site of a Byzantine village. A beautiful mosaic of a sixth century church can be found at the convent of the Rosary Sisters, as well as a Roman building, known as Boubariya.
Khirbet Bal’ama and the Water Tunnel
Khirbet Bal’ama is located at the southern entrance of Jenin, approximately 2 km south of the main centre of the city. The site was a fortified Canaanite city that occupied a strategic position along the historical route of Wadi Bal’ama that linked the Arraba Plain with Marj Ibn Amer. The site is identified with ancient Ibleam, which was mentioned in the Egyptian Royal Archive in the fifteenth century BC. During the classical period it was known as Belmont, and in the medieval period as Castellum Beleismum.
Excavations at Khirbet Bal’ama led to the recovery of the ancient water system, the means by which the inhabitants of ancient Belameh accessed the Bir As-Sinjil Spring at the base of the mound. It was designed to be used primarily in times of war and siege.
The tunnel consists of three parts: the archway at the lowest entrance, the rock-cut tunnel going upwards to the west, and the unfinished upper passage. The excavation uncovered evidence from the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, and the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Umayyad, Crusader/Ayyubid, Mamluk, and Ottoman periods. In 1999, a series of restorations was carried out on the site. In 2005 the tunnel was rehabilitated as an archaeological park and is now open to visitors.
Tell Dothan is located on the eastern side of the fertile Arraba plain, approximately 8 km north of Jenin and 1 km east of the Nablus-Jenin road. It is bordered by fertile plains and a spring at the southern foot of the hill.
The earliest remains at the site date back to the Chalcolithic Period. In the early Bronze Age around 3000 BC, the city was a major fortified urban centre. Dothan was again inhabited in the late Bronze Age and Iron Age I. A spectacular discovery at the site is a tomb dug into the western slope of the hill, which contains more than 1,000 complete pieces of pottery and around 100 skeletons.
The domestic quarter, consisting of a street, houses, storerooms, ovens, and household objects dating from the Iron Age II were also uncovered. From the ninth to the seventh centuries BC, the town was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The last destruction, at the end of the eighth century BC was attributed to the Assyrians. The city later became a flourishing centre under Assyrian Rule.
Scant evidence of Hellenistic and Roman occupation was found at the site, and the last occupation dates back to the Mamluk period. Popular tradition links the story of Joseph and his brothers to a cistern there, known as Joseph’s pit.
The Forest of Umm Al-Rihan
Umm Al-Rihan Forest consists of a series of densely forested areas estimated to be around 15,000 acres in total. The area of Umm Al-Rihan is overseen by the Palestinian Authority, and has been proposed as a site for a nature reserve.
The forest lies within the semi-coastal region and has an environmental system that resembles a Mediterranean Sea forest. Its most important characteristic is that it serves as a migration route for birds travelling from the coast. Many of the birds that pass through the area are species that are threatened or declining throughout all or large parts of their range in the Middle East, such as the Lesser Kestrel, Honey Buzzard, and Egyptian Vulture. In addition, there are other species living in the habitat that are known to be endangered, such as wolves and red foxes. The woodland area also boasts plant diversity and is home to the original wild species of barley and wheat, in addition to many wild species of fruit.