Ar'arat an-Naqab

Ar'arat an-Naqab
  • עַרְעָרָה בַּנֶּגֶב
  • عرعرة
Hebrew transcription(s)
  Also spelled Ar'ara BaNegev (official)

Ar'arat an-Naqab
Coordinates: 31°09′35″N 35°01′25″E / 31.15972°N 35.02361°E / 31.15972; 35.02361Coordinates: 31°09′35″N 35°01′25″E / 31.15972°N 35.02361°E / 31.15972; 35.02361
District Southern
Founded 1982
  Type Local council
  Head of Municipality David Bonfeld (an acting mayor)[1]
  Total 14,052 dunams (14.052 km2 or 5.426 sq mi)
Population (2015)[2]
  Total 15,813

Ar'arat an-Naqab or Ar'ara BaNegev (Hebrew: עַרְעָרָה בַּנֶּגֶב, Arabic: عرعرة), previously called Aroer,[3] is a Bedouin town (local council) in the Southern District of Israel. Its name stands for "the juniper tree[4] in Negev". It is situated not far from the archaeological site of Aroer.

Ar'arat an-Naqab was founded in 1982 as part of a government project to settle Bedouins in permanent settlements. It is one of seven Bedouin townships in the Negev desert with approved plans and developed infrastructure (other six are: Hura, Lakiya, Shaqib al-Salam (Segev Shalom), Kuseife (Kseife), Tel as-Sabi (Tel-Sheva) and the city of Rahat, the largest among them).[5]


According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the population of Ar'arat an-Naqab was 15,813 in 2015. Its jurisdiction is 14,052 dunams.[6]


Prior to the establishment of Israel, the Negev Bedouins were a semi-nomadic society that had been through a process of sedentariness since the Ottoman rule of the region. Most researches agree that Bedouins arrived to the Negev around AD 1800, but there is evidence of earlier migrations as well.[7]

During the British Mandate period the administration didn't provide a legal frame to justify and preserve lands’ ownership. In order to settle this issue, Israel’s land policy was adapted to a large extent from the Ottoman land regulations of 1858 as the only preceding legal frame. Thus Israel nationalized most of the Negev lands using the state’s land regulations from 1969.[7]

Israel has continued the policy of sedentarization of Negev Bedouins imposed by the Ottoman authorities, and at first it included regulation and re-location. During the 1950s Israel re-located two-thirds of the Negev Bedouins into an area that was under martial law.[7]

The next step was to establish seven townships built especially for Bedouins in order to sedentarize and urbanize them by offering them better life conditions, proper infrastructure and high quality public services in sanitation, health and education, and municipal services. But not all Bedouins agree to move from tents and structures built on the state lands into apartments prepared for them. In permanent planned villages like Ar'arat an-Naqab lives about 60% of Bedouin citizens of Israel, while the rest in illegal homes spread all over North Negev.[8]

Present day

Process of sedentarization is full of hardships for any nation, since it means a harsh shift from one way of life to another - transition from wandering to permanent residence, and Bedouins whose society is based on tradition are no exception. The rate of unemployment remains high in Bedouin townships, as well as crime level.[9] School through age 16 is mandatory by law, but the vast majority of the population does not receive a high school education. Women are discriminated in the patriarchal-type Bedouin society.[10] There is another serious problem of trespassing on state lands and building unrecognized Bedouin settlements having no municipal status and facing demolition orders.[11]


Despite the fact that unemployment level among Negev Bedouins is high, there are several employment opportunities in the region. Several industrial parks are situated in the area - Ramat Hovav, Hura, there are industrial zones in Beersheba, Arad and Dimona, etc. Other job opportunities are: several chemical plants near the Dead Sea like the Dead Sea Works, different high-tech companies and textile shops. There is a number of Bedouins working in the area of service.


Medical services

There are branches of several health funds (medical clinics) in Ar'arat an-Naqab: Leumit, Clalit, Maccabi and several perinatal (baby care) centers Tipat Halav.


There is a number of schools in the township.


Until 2009, Ar'arat an-Naqab's sewage either went through an old purification facility or into one of several pools that were created in the 1980s and posed an environmental hazard. As a result of the construction and expansion of nearby Nevatim Airbase, the Israel Air Force invested in the purification facility, making it modern and sufficient for the needs of the village as well as the airbase.[12]

See also


External links

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