• General Background

      As-Sirr is an unrecognized village of internally displaced citizens and is home to about 2,500 people, whose original dwelling place is about 15 km west of their current location. Residents of the village were uprooted from their historic place of residence, to which some still hold land claims, by the military authorities in 1954. Part of the families in the village were moved twice more, until being asked to settle in their current location in 1994. Some of the residents were forced to move yet again to clear the path for the railroad tracks to Neot Hovav, which now runs through the village. The village is again crossed by a four lane road (Route 40). The houses in as-Sirr are mostly tin shacks that are susceptible to adverse weather conditions, and the lack of paved roads makes transport inside the village difficult, especially when it rains.

      The village is named for the Boxthorn tree that is indigenous to the area, and the nearby “Emek Sara” industrial compound has adopted a Hebrew transliteration of the name.

      Services and infrastructure

      The nearest medical services and schools are located in the town of Šgīb as-Salām, roughly 6 km away. The village is not connected to the electricity grid that passes above it, and power is drawn mostly from solar panels, purchased by the villagers. Water is dispensed by means of five 1-inch connections to the main pipeline and water is carried from these connections through privately owned tubes.


      House demolitions in the village are common, and the nearby prison, the rail tracks, the industrial area and the roads have all gradually encroached on the territory of the village and cut into it so that currently as-Sirr is divided into three narrow strips. More pressingly, the location of the village is designated by the relevant outline plans as a metropolitan tourist area.

      *Other forms of writing: A-Sir, Asir, Al-Sir, Alsir, Alser, Al-Ser