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Map showing the location of Aitaroun within Lebanon
Map showing the location of Aitaroun within Lebanon
Location within Lebanon
Coordinates: 33°06′59″N 35°28′6″E / 33.11639°N 35.46833°E / 33.11639; 35.46833
Grid position194/279 PAL
Country Lebanon
GovernorateNabatieh Governorate
DistrictBint Jbeil District
630 m (2,070 ft)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Dialing code+961

Aitaroun (or Aytaroun; Arabic: عيترون)[1] is a Lebanese village located in the caza of Bint-Jbeil at 33.1156° North, 35.4722° East. It is on the northern border of Israel, and 125 km from Beirut.

The village's name origin is Itruma, which means the beautiful smell.[2]


Ottoman era

In 1596, it was named as a village, ’Aytarun in the Ottoman nahiya (subdistrict) of Tibnin under the liwa' (district) of Safad, with a population of 91 households and 15 bachelors, all Muslim. The villagers paid taxes on agricultural products, such as wheat, barley, goats, and beehives, in addition to "occasional revenues” and a fixed sum; a total of 14,570 akçe.[3][4]

Visiting in 1875, Victor Guérin described it as a village with 200 Metualis.[5]

In 1881, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described it: "A large village, built of stone, containing 400 Moslems, situated in bed of wady, with olives, gardens and arable land. Water from a large birket and cisterns."[6]

1985 South Lebanon conflict and aftermath

During the South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000) Aitaroun was part of the South Lebanon security belt. Around 20 soldiers of the South Lebanon Army were kidnapped by Hezbollah in the final year of the war.[7]

2006 Israel–Hezbollah War

During the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War, on July 16, 12 civilians from the Akhrass family, including 7 Canadian nationals, were killed when their Aitaroun home were destroyed in Israeli airstrikes .[8] On July 18, 9 civilians from the Awada family were killed after Israeli air-strikes against their homes.[9] On July 19, 6 civilians were killed and 8 wounded by Israeli strikes, while they were trying to flee from Aitaroun.[10]

The village lost 41 villagers to the war new figures said. Families laid flowers and read Quranic verses at the graves on October 23, 2006, which marks the Eid ul-Fitr-holiday.[11]

2023-2024 Israel-Hezbollah conflict

In 2024, during the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, the Israeli army attacked Hezbollah operatives who were hiding in the village.[12]


Aitaroun had a total population estimated at 20,000 in 2002. However, the actual number of residents is now considered to be significantly higher. The non-resident population is divided between emigrants and internal migrants distributed throughout Lebanon. Approximately 45% of the population is under the age of 30 and the average family size is 6-7 members.[13]


Most families depend on agriculture as their primary source of income. During 1978 to 2000, the village received a significant cash flow from enlistment in the Israeli funded South Lebanon Army and through work in Israel.[citation needed]

Housing and infrastructure

There are around 1,300 homes in the village. An electrical network was established in 1964 and access to telecommunications is fully restored since 2006. In 2005 a telephone exchange was installed in the village offering connectivity to Lebanon's telephone network. Mobile communications and internet connectivity were also fully restored.

During the occupation, potable water in the village was provided by water wells drilled in the village by Israel. The main water source is the collection of rain water which is stored in both private and public reservoirs.[citation needed]

Government and social services

There are five schools operating in Aitaroun: two public and three private. Public schools, elementary and intermediate, encompass 250 students, with a higher percentage of girls especially for the intermediate level. The total number of students in the private schools amount to 570 distributed among one elementary school and two intermediate schools. The village has one health center operated by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The municipal council in the village was established in 1961.


The area is rich in wild herbs, flowers and mushrooms. Particularly prevalent are the red poppy flower, wild capers and thistles. Other flora that are believed to be more agricultural or introduced, include; grape vines, pomegranate trees, figs, cactus apple, sumac, various wild berries.


  1. ^ From personal name, according to Palmer 1881, p. 66
  2. ^ "Source:" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-07-28.
  3. ^ Hütteroth and Abdulfattah, 1977, p. 179
  4. ^ Note that Rhode, 1979, p. 6 Archived 2019-04-20 at the Wayback Machine writes that the register that Hütteroth and Abdulfattah studied was not from 1595/6, but from 1548/9
  5. ^ Guérin, 1880, p. 373
  6. ^ Conder and Kitchener, 1881, SWP I, p. 201
  7. ^ "Refworld | Lebanon: Treatment of informants for the South Lebanese Army (SLA) by Amal Movement, Hezbollah Movement, the Syrian Army in Lebanon and the Lebanese authorities (1991-2001)".
  8. ^ HRW, 2007, pp. 98-100
  9. ^ HRW, 2007, pp. 100-101
  10. ^ HRW, 2007, pp. 153-155
  11. ^ "Violence casts shadow on normally festive Muslim holiday in Mideast". CBS. 23 October 2006.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Beyrouth, Ici (2023-12-10). "Intensification des bombardements au Sud: Aïtaroun durement touché". Ici Beyrouth (in French). Retrieved 2024-04-02.
  13. ^ "Aytaron BintJbeil Discrit". Retrieved 2024-04-02.


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