The village of al-Furʿah is a Bedouin unrecognized village. Its population includes 5,000 residents, and it is located 6 km east of the town of Ksīfih. al-Furʿah was established prior to 1948, and is named after the nearby mountain that in the Bedouin dialect is called “al-Farʿah”. In the village there are water wells, a few ancient stone houses (Baikas) and a cemetery. The village was recognized by the State of Israel in 2006, however, there are still major disagreements regarding its location, its overall size and the population of the village.
Services and Infrastructure
Water is supplied to the village through connection points from the main water pipe, located by the main road, a couple of kilometers from the village. The residents who live by the road lay the infrastructures and pipes on their own and pay for all additional costs of operating and maintaining the pipes. The residents that live far from the road must carry water in water tanks, which increases the costs and requires a long waiting period while filling the tanks and mobilizing it back to the village. The houses of al-Furʿah are not connected to the electricity grid, forcing the residents to use solar panels and generators.
There is no clinic in the village, and in order to receive medical care, its residents have to drive to the city of Arad (3-4 km) or to the Bedouin township, Ksīfih. There are two elementary schools and one high school in the village. The high school was established in 2015, following a petition to the Supreme Court of Justice. All the schools serve the children of the village and children from other villages in the area.
According to the Be’er Sheva Metropolitan Plan, the area on which the village is situated is defined as combined agricultural and rural landscape and, therefore, the researcher appointed to examine objections to the Plan had recommended that the village be recognized.
As of 2004, Rotem-Ampert company (a subsidiary of ‘Chemicals for Israel’) seeks to establish an open phosphate mine in the area. A petition filed by the Arad municipality, Adalah, residents of al-Furʿah village and other organizations; demanded from the National Planning and Building Committee to cancel the National Council’s decision that phosphate mining would be allowed in the area, on the grounds that this activity would endanger the health of the residents, Jews and Bedouins alike. During a Supreme Court hearing on February 27, 2019, the court issued a probation order to the State that bears the responsibility of convincing the court why it should not intervene in the approval of the plan. The court eventually ordered that the plan returned to the National Planning and Building Committee, as it did not provide sufficient examination of the potential health effects of the plan on the residents in the area.