• General Background

      The village of al-Bāṭ is an unrecognized Bedouin village, located 4.5 km from the town of Ksīfih, North of Route 31 and has a population of 1,400. The village was settled before the establishment of the state of Israel. The name of the village, al-Bāṭ, comes from the range of mountains that surrounds it  and in it are ancient caves, a couple of wells that its residents dug in the past, and a couple of ancient stone buildings (Baika).

      Services and Infrastructure

      There is no clinic, kindergarten or school in the village; therefore, in order to receive these services, the residents have to drive 4.5 km to Ksīfih.

      The water supply to village comes from a connection point to the main water pipe, near Route 31, and the residents, at their own expense, install the needed infrastructures, and put the water pipes in the ground. The families share the water, yet given the low pressure, water does not reach all the houses, and at any given moment, only a few families can use water. The village is not connected to the electricity grid,  therefore, its residents use solar panels and generators. In addition, there are no paved roads in the village, only dirt roads.

      Threats

      Al-Bāṭ is not recognized by the state of Israel. According to the Be’er-Sheva Metropolitan Plan, part of the village falls within a planning area called “combined rural and agricultural landscape” (where it is possible to establish settlements), yet the other part of the village is defined as a firing zone which would mean its evacuation. The residents have prepared a plan for the recognition of the village, but the state is willing to recognize only the part that is not defined as a firing range. House demolitions occur in the village every couple of months, all of the houses are considered illegal and some of them are currently under demolition order.