• General Background

      The unrecognized village of as-Sirrah has a population of about 500 residents. As-Sirrah dates to the Ottoman period. Remains in the village such as stone buildings (Baika), trees, caves and water cisterns are evidence to the long history of the village. The lands of the village were purchased in the 1920’s and the families hold the original purchase documents. In the 1970’s the residents filed ownership claims for these lands but they were never clarified.

      Services and Infrastructure

      No services are provided to the village by the state of Israel. Water is supplied at the expense of the residents through connection to the main pipe which runs in the outskirts of the village. There is no connection to the electricity grid and all the power is supplied by private solar panels. The small mosque in as-Sirrah was built by the residents. There is no school, kindergarten or health clinic in the village. For all these services the residents have to travel 12 km distance, to Ksīfih.

      Threats

      The industrial area “Kidmat Negev” is planned on the lands of as-Sirrah. The state claims that the lands were expropriated in the 1980s when the close by Nevatim army air base was built but the residents of as-Sirrah were not informed about the expropriation.

      In 2006 demolition orders were handed to all residents. The court cancelled these orders but the state appealed to the district court against this ruling. In 2014, the district court denied the state’s appeal and cancelled the demolition orders.