• General Background

      Bīr Haddāj is a Bedouin village located west of Route 40, close to Kibbutz Revivim. During the 1990s, its residents – who had hitherto been staying in the area of Neot Hovav and an unrecognized village called Wādi an-Naʿam – decided to return to the area adjacent to their historic home. Today, Bīr Haddāj is home to around 6,000 people. In 1999 the Israeli government decided to recognize the village, and today it is one of the villages in the Neve Midbar regional council. The village’s name comes from the name of a well in the original village (close to the village’s current location) called Be’er Chayil, or in Arabic, Bīr Haddāj.

      Services and Infrastructure

      Within the recognized village of Bīr Haddāj there are two elementary schools, one high school, and four mandatory and pre-mandatory preschools. There is a clinic and a mother-and-child health station which supply medical services to its inhabitants.

      Despite the state’s recognition of Bīr Haddāj in 1999, the village’s houses are not connected to the national electricity grid, and its residents must make do with solar panels. Nor are the houses connected to the water system, so the villagers run water through pipes to their homes, from a connection point on the main water pipe. The houses in the village are not connected to the waste removal system, and with the exception of one road leading to the school, none of the roads are paved. Garbage removal services do not operate in Bīr Haddāj, except for within the school property.

      Planning Situation

      Bīr Haddāj has a “blue line” which defines the village’s boundaries. However, lacking a detailed master plan, its residents are not able to request building permits. Without this planning, Bīr Haddāj is subject to the house demolition policy, and there are demolition orders pending over some of its houses. In addition, many villagers live outside of the blue line.