Samaritans | Just Vision Skip to main content

The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.


A distinct religious and ethnic community who believes in an ancient Israelite religion that is distinct from Judaism. While, like Jews, Samaritans consider the Five Books of Moses to be the word of God and their sacred scripture, they reject the remainder of Judaic scripture. The Samaritans consider Mt. Gerizim, located just outside the West Bank city of Nablus, their holiest site. As of May 2014, there were 760 Samaritans in Israel and the West Bank-about half living on Mt. Gerizim and the other half in the town of Holon in central Israel. Samaritans typically speak both Hebrew and Arabic, and are considered in various ways part of both Israeli and Palestinian society. See The Samaritan Update.