As-Sawiya is a Palestinian town in the Nablus Governorate in northern
West Bank, located 18 kilometers South of Nablus. According to the
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the town had a population
of 2,301 inhabitants in mid-year 2006.
Byzantine pottery, old tombs, cisterns and Khan have been found. In
the 1881 "Survey of Western Palestine", the Khan Sawieh-area,
just north-east of the village, was described as:
a small square building, also a ruined Khan; the walls are standing
to some height, and drafted stones are used at the corners. Rock-cut
tombs exist just south, showing the place to be an ancient site. The
name of the site is Khurbet Berkit.
Sawiya appeared in 1596 Ottoman tax registers as being in the Nahiya
of Jabal Qubal of the Liwa of Nablus. It had a population of 40 households
and 2 bachelors, all Muslim, and paid taxes on wheat, barley, summercrops,
olive trees, occasional revenues, goats and beehives. In the 1882
"Survey of Western Palestine", Sawiya was described as "a
little village on a hill overhanging the road."
In a census conducted in 1922 by the British Mandate authorities,
As-Sawiya (called: Sawiyeh) had a Muslim population of 476, while
in the 1931 census it had 128 occupied houses and a population of
In 1945 Es Sawiya had a population of 820, with 10,293 dunams of land,
according to an official land and population survey. Of this, 4,394
dunams were plantations and irrigable land, 3,412 used for cereals,
while 40 dunams were built-up land.
As-Sawiya was entirely dependent on its agricultural land. Prior to
the Second Intifada (2000 - 2003) about 250 of the village's residents
worked in Israel, but in 2004 only three continued working there.
The primary crops grown in as-Sawiya are wheat, olives, grapes, figs,
and beans. The land is also used for grazing livestock. Some residents
produce yoghurt from their cows and sell it. Local residents sell
olive oil to nearby villages such as Lubban as well. Stone-cutting
is the most important industry in the town after agriculture.