Brimming with political activity since the 1987 intifada, Nablus has experienced heavy battles between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters on its streets. Many parts of the historic Old City have been irreparably damaged since occupation and the city has undergone continuous reconstruction.
One of the largest cities in the occupied Palestinian territories, Nablus has been on the forefront of politics and culture in Palestinian society since the formation of a Palestinian national identity.
TRADE AND COMMERCE
As an important commercial and cultural center, Nablus is home to two traditional Palestinian products – kanaffe and olive oil soap. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported in 2008 that 70 percent of the population over 10 years of age is literate – ranking it at the higher end of literacy rates in the territories. However, the period marking the beginning of the second intifada in 2000 impacted the economy and survival of the city due to a combination of frequent military incursions, curfews, closure and the Wall.
According to United Nations reports, the numbers of military incursions in the city have decreased since 2005, leading to a reduction in the number of Palestinian causalities. However, studies conducted by the organization also concluded that the changed security situation could not lead to economic revival or free flow of trade due to the 14 Israeli settlements, 26 outposts and the Wall surrounding Nablus.