• General Background

      The village Ẓḥayyih is located north of the Bedouin town Rahaṭ, about 2 km south of Beit Kama junction, with population of about 500 residents. The family Abu Wadi lives in the village on lands owned by the family since the Ottoman rule and in 1948 more families, who were evicted by the Israeli military rule, joined the village.

      Services and Infrastructure

      No health or medical services exist in the village and the residents have to get these services in the town Rahaṭ – 6 km distance which takes 15 minutes by car or an hour and a half by foot.

      Water is supplied to Ẓḥayyih via some connections that are 1 km from the village. The pipes from these connection points to the village were installed by the residents themselves at their own expense. Since more than 10 families are connected to each point, if one family doesn’t pay the water bill, the water supply is stopped to all families. The residents applied many times to the authorities to open up more connection points but they were turned down. Ẓḥayyih is not connected to the national electric grid and in recent years the residents have started purchasing solar panels.


      Ẓḥayyih is an unrecognized Bedouin village within the jurisdiction of Bnei Shimon regional council but formally the village does not belong to the council and as such the residents don’t vote to the council and don’t receive any municipal services. From 1956 to 1988 the residents of Ẓḥayyih paid property taxes to Bnei Shimon council but didn’t get any services.

      According to the Be’er Sheva metropolitan plan Ẓḥayyih is located in an area where recognition of villages is possible. The town Rahaṭ requested to widen its outline plan whereby Ẓḥayyih will be included but Bnei Shimon refuses to transfer lands from its jurisdiction. The residents of Ẓḥayyih wish to stay in the village, live on their lands and base their livelihood on agriculture. At present,  using the water, received from the water connection, for agriculture is not allowed and the residents were asked by the authorities to stop watering the fields already sown. Also the village is threatened by house demolition orders and in the last couple of years 10 house demolitions took place in the village.