• General  Background

      Bīr al-Ḥamām is an unrecognized village located north of route 25 with 2600 inhabitants. The village is named after an ancient and famous water well “Bīr al-Ḥamām”. Six ancient caves are in the village and until the 1970s people still lived in them. There are old huts, an ancient cemetery and six water cisterns in the village.

      Infrastructure and services

      The village has one connection point to the main water pipe on route 25, 3 km distance from the village. The infrastructure for carrying the water was done privately by the residents on their expense and they bear the costs for its maintenance. One connection point is not enough for the whole village which results in low water pressure which forces the residents to accumulate water during the night in water tanks. The village is not connected to the national electricity grid and the residents use solar panels and generators.

      There are no health and education services in Bīr al-Ḥamām. For their health needs the residents have to drive to Tal as-Sabaʿ – 8 km distance and about 20 minutes ride. The children attend school in the recognized village of Mūladaʾh, 8 km distance and a 20 minutes ride. There are no paved roads in Bīr al-Ḥamām. In order to get to the main road two wadis are to be crossed. In the winter time the water in the wadis overflow and the residents cannot go in or out of the village.

      Threats

      Bīr al-Ḥamām is an unrecognized village which faces the house demolition policy of the state authority, and part of its houses received already demolition orders. According to the Be’er Sheva Metropolitan Plan the village is within the area defined as “designated regional recreation area” and therefore disqualifies the village for recognition. In addition, Route 6 is planned to go through the village and divide it in two. Residents of Bīr al-Ḥamām have ownership claims to the lands of the village. The residents of  Bīr al-Ḥamām strive to get recognition as an agricultural village where the village is located today.

      Tourism in the village

      Bīr al-Ḥamām has a visitor center which offers food, accommodation, tours and jeep excursions to the unrecognized villages in the Negev. The center is operated by Naji Abu Zkika.
      For details: +972-54-365-2929.