Qalqilyah is a Palestinian city in the West Bank. Most of the residents are farmers, and constant contact with Israeli farmers has made Qalqīlyah a bilingual town. The town is located in the West Bank’s closest point to the Mediterranean Sea, some 12 km away. As of 1996, its number of inhabitants was estimated at 28,300.
The town’s area has been populated from prehistoric times, and prehistoric flint tools were found in the modern town’s area. In Roman times, a way-station existed in the location called Kalkaliya. Invading armies, many of which came from the Mediterranean coast just 12 km away, often came through Qalqilyah. Its Canaanite origins are murky, but its current name comes from the Roman Qala’alia, meaning high fortress. During the subsequent Muslem rules of the area, the town was populated with Arab inhabitants.
- Population: ~52,000
- Elevation: 57m
- Average rainfall: low
- Major economic activity: orange farming
- Currency: Israeli New Shekel
- Main languages: Palestinian Arabic, Palestinian Arabic Sign Language
- Ethnic composition:Mostly Arab
- Typical foods: Hummous, Falafel, Roast Chicken, Pizza
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Animals & Wildlife
Qalqilya boasts the only zoo in the West Bank. The zoo is the single largest employer in the city, houses over 170 animals, and doubles as a gathering space and municipal park.