A deletion mutation of 8.6Kb in the CFTR gene, spanning the exons 17a, 17b and 18 was identified in 4 homozygous unrelated Palestinian CF patients. The patients were of various ethnic subgroups including Muslims, Christians and Druze. The deletion breakpoint occurred within an identical 4bp sequence in introns 16 and 18, and the mutation was defined as 3120+1Kbdel8.6Kb. A simple PCR based assay was designed and using this assay two compound heterozygote patients with the 3120+1Kbdel8.6Kb were identified. The 3120+1Kbdel8.6Kh hearing chromosomes had a common intragenic haplotype and variable flanking polymorphic markers, indicating that it is an ancient founder mutation.