Al-Mkīmin is an unrecognized Bedouin village, located north of Route 60, near the planned town of al-Lagiyyih. There are about 1,500 people residing in the village. Al-Mkīmin is an historical village, which existed prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. In 1953, his residents were transferred by martial law from their lands to the area of Tal ʿArād, where they lived until 1974. In 1974, it was decided to re-locate them back into the village and they reside there until this day.
The meaning of the name Al-Mkīmin derives from the Arabic word describing a location between two hills.
Services and Infrastructure
In the unrecognized village of Al-Mkīmin there are no health nor education services. Children must travel daily to their institutions at the near town of al-Lagiyyih, located about 3 km. from the village. The drive takes about 20 minutes as the road is damaged. In order to receive medical treatment, the residents of the village must also travel the distance to al-Lagiyyih.
The people of the village receive one connection point to running water from the nearby village of ʿAwajān. They must draw their own resources and bear the costs of constructing and managing infrastructure by themselves. The village is also disconnected from the national electricity network and its people are using solar panels in order to have electricity. There are no paved roads and during the winter, students from the village must stay at home due to the fact that the bus is unable to reach them.
Threats and the Future of the Village
The people of Al-Mkīmin are currently residing on their own land, to which they have already filed claims during the 1970’s. During 1978, the State transferred agricultural land to the Kibbutzim of Shomriya and Lahav. In 2000, after residents of Atzmona who were evacuated from the Gaza Strip were re-settled in Kibbutz Shomriya, they were given additional land on the expense of Al-Mkīmin’s land. The villagers of Al-Mkīmin are asking the State to recognize their village as an independent agricultural community. As an unrecognized village, it is subject to a policy of distributing house demolitions.