az-Zaʿarūrah is an unrecognized Bedouin village located east of the township of Ksīfih, on Route 80. There are around 2,600 people living in the village. az-Zaʿarūrah is an historical village that was established prior to 1948, and is named after a medicinal herb. There are ancient water-wells and dams in the village.
There are no health services in the village, and residents must travel for about 20 minutes (15 km) to the township of Ksīfih in order to receive medical attention. The village has no educational facilities such as kindergartens and schools, and students are forced to travel each day to the township of Ksīfih or the nearby village of al-Furʿah for school. There are no paved roads in the village and the nearby wadi has no bridge, so that on rainy days when the river overflows, the entrance and exit from the village is completely blocked. Water and electricity are not provided to the villagers by the authorities. The residents receive water through 10 ‘Mekorot’ connection points on the main road, from which they draw pipes at their expense, as well as absorb the cost of repairs. Residents also supply their own power, with some using solar panels at a very high cost; some use electricity from Ksīfih; and there are also those who have generators.
az-Zaʿarūrah is an unrecognized village and thus is under the constant threat of demolitions and evictions. Some of the villagers’ homes have demolition orders and each several months there are demolitions in the village. 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.
Additional forms of writing: Alzaʿarūrah, Al-Zaʿarūrah, a-Zaʿarūrah