Khirbit al-Watan is an unrecognized village situated south of route 31 with 3,200 residents. The village precedes the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and its name is derived from a well known ruin – Khirbit al-Watan. The village has a cemetery which was established before 1948 and some water cisterns that serve the residents until today.
Khirbit al-Watan has few connection points to the main water pipe on route 31, 4 km distance from the village. The villagers arranged privately the infrastructure for the water transportation and bear the costs for its maintenance. While the school and health clinic in the village are connected to the national electric grid, the residents’ homes are not connected and the residents are using solar panels and generators.
Khirbit al-Watan has a primary and middle school and for high school the children go to Ḥūrah, a distance of 7 km and half an hour drive from the village. There is a health clinic of “Clalit” in the village. There are no paved roads in Khirbit al-Watan. According to government resolution 724 of 2009, a road to the school and the health clinic was to be paved in 2013, however so far this hasn’t been done.
According to Be’er Sheva Metropolitan Plan Khirbit al-Watan is located in an area defined as a combined rural and agricultural area and therefore granting recognition to the village is possible. However, a plan for a new road connecting Be’er Sheva and Arad will run through the village. The residents of Khirbit al-Watan have ownership claims to the lands of the village, claims that haven’t reached yet the courts. The village is facing the policy of house demolitions and some homes were served with demolition orders.
The residents offer two possibilities for recognition of the village: One, expanding the outline plan of the neighboring recognized village as-Sayyid incorporating Khirbit al-Watan in its boundaries. Two, granting Khirbit al-Watan recognition as an independent rural-agricultural village.