Ramallah is a city located approximately 15km north of Jerusalem. Its population is over 357,000, including the surrounding area (2016), according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

Ramallah means “Allah’s mountain” (ram = “height”). As its name suggests, the city is located on a small hill of 880m above sea level.

Ramallah city center
Ramallah is the center of popular culture.

Since 1955, when the State of Palestine put its government in Ramallah, Ramallah has been playing a role as the political capital. Many countries have founded their embassies here.

Also, Ramallah is the center of popular culture because many young people live for Bir Zeit University in its suburb.

There is also the tomb of Yasser Arafat, the first President of the State of Palestine.

the tomb of Yaaser Arafat in Ramalla
We can visit the tomb of Yasser Arafat. Tristam Sparks, restlesseye.com

Though he wished to be buried in Jerusalem where he was from, his body is in Ramallah because of the control by Israel.

History of Ramallah

16th century

Christian tribes immigrated from Jordan.

until 18th century

Ramallah grew as an agricultural Arab-Christian village.

early 20th century

Ramallah became the capital city of the region, which encouraged its development.


The UK occupied Ramallah. In 1948, the withdrawal of the British Army and the foundation of Israel. Ramallah played the role of the economic center.


Israeli Independence. West Bank was then put under the control of Jordan.

From Nakba Day, a bunch of refugees rushed for Ramallah, which caused the irruption of its population.

1967, until now

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Ramallah fell under the control of Israel with other Palestinian cities.

In 1980, Karim Khalaf, the mayor of Ramallah, got heavily injured in car bombs by an Israeli terrorist group in retaliation.

After going through the hardest time, Israeli troops withdrew from the city center in 1995 according to the Oslo Accords. Then, Palestinian Authority was established in Ramallah.

Articles about Ramallah