The name “Tulkarem” means “the vineyard’s mountain”. Tulkarem is located in northwest of the West Bank; it is situated in the middle of a coastal plain. It is 15 km from the Mediterranean Sea. The Israeli cities Netentya and Haifa are to the west, and the Palestinian cities of Nablus and Jenin are to the east. Tulkarem has a population of 51,300 people, which includes 10,641 people who live in the refugee camp nearby. The name of the city means the “The vineyard’s mountain”.
The city has a moderate climate with temperatures in winter hovering around 8-16C. In summer the temperatures reach 17C degrees, and as much as 30C on the hottest days. The population of city has increased in the recent years due to the migration to the city from nearby villages. The availability of work opportunities, and the availability of services such as water and education motivate people to move to the city. Throughout history Tulkarem has had military and commercial importance which has contributed to the city’s growth. The importance of the city’s commerce is enhanced by the Saturday market in which villagers gather to sell their products and groceries.
The city is near proximity to two refugee camps: Tulkarem Camp is inhabited by approximately 19,000 people, while Nour Al Shams Camp is populated by about 10,000 people. Both of these camps are located to the east of the city and both are only a few kilometers away.
Tulkarem is famously known for its pottery and embroidery. In addition to the production of such handicrafts, Tulkarem produces citrus fruits, melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, guava, and other crops.
Historically, the city was ruled by the Romans in the 13th century. Additionally, for those with archaeological interests, the city possesses cut stones going back to the year 7500 years BCE.
Qalqilia is city located in the north-west of the West Bank close to what is called “green line”, a border line that was set out in 1949 after the armistice amongst the warring parties of Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. It is 16 kilometers from Tulkarem. The city is inhabited by about 41,739 people of which a majority are Palestinian refugees or their descendants.
The location of the city gives it a special importance where it because it is the meeting point for Palestinian cities of the north and south and west. The City’s history and its name goes back to the Canaanite era when it was called “Jiljilyya” meaning “the round stone”.
The city offers the only zoo in Palestine. The zoo was established in 1986, and it has an area of 35,000 square meters. It is located to the north of the city. The story of the zoo and its founder, Dr. Sami, is told in the book “The Zoo on the Road to Nablus” (2007) by Amelia Thomas. In addition, Qalqilia offers religious and archeological sites, such as the tomb of Prophet Elias. A whole village to the west to Qalqilia is named for Elias. In addition, there are Roman landmarks which are known as Roman pond.There are three ponds found in the center of Snerya village.
The city’s weather is mild with the average daily temperatures being 19C. During the summertime the temperatures may reach a maximum of 28C, and 10C in the wintertime. The city is known for its rain; this rain effects positively on summer and winter agricultural production which includes fruit production. Agricultural activities also include raising livestock, and beekeeping.
Qalqilia also provides industrial products, such as food, olive oil, dairy, soap, glass, stone, construction materials, wood and iron goods, mineral water, and marble.