the nucleus of the village is on a small hill from which beit hanina expanded and developed in recent years. most of the inhabitants are muslims with a small greek-orthodox minority.
after the six day war a number of jewish families made an unsuccessful attempt to settle in beit hanina.
around beit hanina are ancient stone quarries which boast beautiful flowers in winter. the original residents of beit hanina came from southern jordan and perhaps also from egypt. most of the residents belong to clans: abdach, abu shahira, abu t'eah, hori and shuman.
today there are 30,000 residents in beit hanina. the neighborhood council and community center co-ordinate services with the municipality and provide community services to the residents.
the village of hizma is located northeast of shuafat and east of beit hanina at an elevation of 650 meters above sea level. at the time of the first temple hizma was a village of priests in the territory of the tribe of benjamin as were the villages of anatot and geva. the village is known for its manufacture of stone vessels during the second temple period, a time when the jews were very particular about laws of purity in the temple, and the solution was to use stone pots which could not become impure. the factories for the manufacture of stone vessels have been found in caves around hizma.