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Jenin(jĕ`nēn), town (2003 est. pop. 34,000), West Bank, at the southern entrance to the Esdraelon Valley and on the northern edge of the Samarian Highlands. It is an important crossroads, urban center, and market town and is also the site of a large Palestinian refugee camp. The town's economy is based on service, craft, some industry, and local agriculture, which produces wheat, barley, olives, dates, figs, and vegetables.
Jenin is believed to have been built on the site of the ancient city of Ein-Ganam, mentioned in the Egyptian Amarna tablets (see Tell el AmarnaTell el Amarna
or Tel el Amarna
, ancient locality, Egypt, near the Nile and c.60 mi (100 km) N of Asyut. Ikhnaton's capital, Akhetaton, was in Tell el Amarna. About 400 tablets with inscriptions in Akkadian cuneiform were found there in 1887.
..... Click the link for more information. ), or the biblical town of Ginnat. Once the site of a Byzantine church, now in ruins, Jenin was captured by Christian knights during the Crusades. The town was used as a Turkish-German army base during World War I, became part of the Palestine mandate (1923–48), and was annexed (1950) by Jordan. A center of Palestinian guerrilla activity after the 1948 Arab-Israeli warArab-Israeli Wars,
conflicts in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers.
..... Click the link for more information. , Jenin was occupied by Israel from the Six-Day War (1967) until 1995, when it came under Palestinian control. Jenin was the center of fierce Israeli-Palestinian fighting in 2002, when the town was heavily damaged.