Yehoshua Hankin

History of Israel

Yehoshua Hankin (1864-1945) was a prominent figure in the early Zionist movement and played a crucial role in land acquisition and development in Palestine. He is often called the “Conqueror of Land” due to his efforts in purchasing and securing land for Jewish settlement, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hankin’s work laid the groundwork for establishing Jewish communities and the eventual creation of the State of Israel. Here’s more about Yehoshua Hankin and his contributions to land purchase in Palestine:

Jewish Land Purchases in Palestine
The Sursock Purchase (See Red Dotted Circle) Illustrated On A Map Of Jewish Land Purchase In Palestine As At 1944; The Dark Blue Represents Land Then Owned By The Jewish National Fund, Of Which Most In The Circled Area Had Been Acquired Under The Sursock Purchase.

Background and Early Efforts:

Yehoshua Hankin was born in Ukraine and moved to Palestine in the 1880s. Recognizing the importance of land for Jewish settlement, he began working on identifying available land for purchase and settlement. Hankin was driven by securing land for the Jewish people to establish a thriving agricultural society.

Land Survey and Purchase:

Hankin conducted extensive land surveys in Palestine to identify areas suitable for agricultural development. He negotiated with Arab landowners to purchase land, often facing challenges such as absentee ownership, disputes, and legal intricacies. His negotiations required cultural sensitivity and a deep understanding of local customs and traditions.


Yehoshua Hankin – His Strategic Approach:

Hankin’s approach to land acquisition was strategic and focused on long-term planning. He aimed to secure contiguous parcels of land, which would allow for the establishment of sustainable and cohesive Jewish communities. His efforts contributed to creating not only agriculturally viable settlements but also socially and economically interconnected.

Yehoshua and Olga Hankin 1910.

Key Achievements:

Hankin’s most notable achievement was purchasing land in the Jezreel Valley, which later became the heartland of Jewish agricultural settlements. He negotiated with Arab landowners to purchase large tracts of land in the valley, which were then used to establish kibbutzim and moshavim.

Maayan Harod Henkin Grave
The Tomb of Yehoshua & Olga Hankin in the Jezreel Valley.

Collaboration with Jewish Organizations:

Hankin collaborated closely with the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and other Zionist organizations. The JNF often provided the financial means for land purchase, while Hankin’s expertise and knowledge of the local landowners were crucial in successful negotiations.

Yehoshua Hankin Legacy:

Yehoshua Hankin’s contributions were instrumental in laying the groundwork for establishing Jewish communities in Palestine. His strategic land acquisitions and negotiations contributed to the viability and sustainability of these settlements. The areas he helped develop became integral parts of the nascent Jewish state when it was established in 1948.

Jezreel Valley Day Tour
Christian Holy Land Seven Day Tour - The Jezreel Valley

Controversies and Debates:

Hankin’s work also led to discussions, as some argued that his land purchases led to the displacement of Arab tenants and landowners. His actions were part of the broader tensions between Jewish and Arab communities in Palestine during that period.

Yehoshua Hankin’s dedication to securing land for Jewish settlement played a significant role in realizing the Zionist dream of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. His work remains a complex and debated aspect of the region’s history, reflecting the intricate relationships between land, identity, and conflict in the Middle East.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Simon Peter


Bar Giora (Organization)

Bar Giora was a secret Jewish self-defense organization and the precursor of Hashomer, the grandfather of the Israeli Defence Forces.

Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem

Melisende was Queen of Jerusalem from 1131 to 1153. She was the daughter of Baldwin II first Crusader ruler born and ruled Jerusalem.

Jewish Land Purchases in Palestine

Here's an overview of Jewish land purchases in Palestine who were integral to the Zionist movement's goal to establish a Jewish homeland.

Meir Dizengoff

Meir Dizengoff was a Zionist leader, politician, founder, and first mayor of Tel Aviv. In his house, the State of Israel was declared.

Charles Warren

Charles Warren was one of the very first archaeologists in the Holy Land. He was one of the earliest European archaeologists of the Holy Land

Moses Montefiore

Sir Moses Haim Montefiore (1784 –1885) donated large sums of money to promote the development of the Jewish community in Palestine.

Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval battle fought on October 7, 1571, between the Holy League, a coalition of Christian states, and the Ottoman.

What is the Praetorium

The Praetorium is also used in reference to the trial of Jesus Christ, as described in the New Testament. To learn more click here!

Herod Antipas

Herod Antipas: His Early Life Herod Antipas was a son of Herod the Great, who had become king of Judea, and Malthace, who was from Samaria. His date ...

Palestine Exploration Fund

The Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) is an institution that holds a special place in the annals of exploration and archaeology in Palestine.

Need help?