The unrecognized village Tal ʿArād is located north-west of the Jewish town Arad, with a population of 1,700. The original residents of the area were the Jahalin tribe who were transferred by the State of Israel in 1951 from the Negev/Naqab area, and currently reside in the area of Mishor Adumim. Following the establishment of Israel, State authorities transferred from other areas of the Negev/Naqab (mainly from the area of al-Lagiyyih) internally displaced Bedouin families. The village is named after the nearby archaeological site, Tel Arad.
Services and Infrastructure
There village is not connected to the national electricity grid, and its residents use solar panels and generators in order to produce power. In 2018, after countless requests to the Water Commission, some residents received approval to connect to a ‘Mekorot’ connection point, from which they drew water. Today, some residents pay ‘Memi HaNegev’ water supplier for the basic provision of water. Except for the road leading to the nearby military base, there are no paved roads in the village.
There is one integrated elementary and middle school in the village. However, high school students are forced to travel to the nearby township of Ksīfih, 10 km from the village (a 20 minutes drive). The village does not have any healthcare facilities and the people must travel to Ksīfih or Arad for medical attention.
The village has an active parent committee that fight to improve the poor conditions in the school. In September 2019, after a lengthy dispute between the Ministry of Education and the Al-Qassum Regional Council, the parents committee had to connect the school to water on their own expense. There is also an active women cooperative in the village that is working to promote women’s employment and the provision of other basic services such as public transportation and a clinic. They also have a modest tourism venture. The parents committee and the women cooperative work in cooperation with the “Good Neighbor” group from the nearby Jewish city of Arad.
The village of Tal ʿArād is an unrecognized village and is therefore subject to the policy of house demolition and crop destruction by the authorities. According to the Be’er Sheva Metropolitan Plan, the village is partly on an area defined as a desert landscape and partly on a mining and quarrying area – a definition that denies recognition of the village. The residents, for their part, want to stay in Tal ʿArād, and request that the government recognize the village where it is today. An ultra-Orthodox city called Kasif is planned to be built near the village. There are plans for four other community settlements for the Jewish population to be built in the Arad foothills area.