|• Type||Local council|
|• Head of Municipality||Dr. Muhammad Al-Nabari|
|• Total||6,646 dunams (6.646 km2 or 2.566 sq mi)|
Hura, or Houra (Hebrew: חוּרָה, חוּרָא, Arabic: حورة) is a Bedouin village in the Southern District of Israel. It is located near Beersheba and beside the town Meitar. The village was established in 1989 as a part of solution offered by the state for the Negev Bedouin population, and was declared a local council in 1996. In 2015 it had a population of 19,371.
Hura is one of seven Bedouin townships in the Negev desert with approved plans and developed infrastructure (other six are: Ar'arat an-Naqab (Ar'ara BaNegev), Lakiya, Shaqib al-Salam (Segev Shalom), Kuseife (Kseife), Tel as-Sabi (Tel-Sheva) and the city of Rahat, the largest among them).
Primarily members of three Bedouin family clans reside in Hura: Abu Alkian, Al-Atawneh and Al-Nabari. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the population of Hura was 17,500 in December 2010, up from 16,600 at the end of 2009. Hura's jurisdiction is 6,646 dunams.
Prior to the establishment of Israel, the Negev Bedouins were a semi-nomadic society that had been through a process of sedentariness since the Ottoman rule of the region. Most researchers agree that Bedouins arrived to the Negev around 1800 AD, but there is evidence of earlier migrations as well.
During the British Mandate period, the administration did not provide a legal framework to justify and preserve land ownership. In order to settle this issue, Israel’s land policy was adapted to a large extent from the Ottoman land regulations of 1858 as the only preceding legal framework. This enabled Israel to nationalize most of the Negev lands using the state land regulations of 1969.
Israel has continued the policy of sedentarization of Negev Bedouin imposed by the Ottoman authorities, and at first it included regulation and re-location - during the 1950s Israel re-located two-thirds of the Negev Bedouin into an area that was under a martial law.
The next step was to establish seven townships built especially for Bedouin in order to sedentarize and urbanize them by offering them better life conditions, proper infrastructure and high quality public services in sanitation, health and education, and municipal services. This was seen as particularly important since the birth rate of the Bedouin population in Israel is among the highest in the world - it doubles its size every 15 years. Not all Bedouin have agreed to move from tents and structures built on the state lands into permanent apartments prepared for them. Only about 60% of Bedouin citizens of Israel live in permanent planned villages like Hura, while the rest live in what are considered illegal homes and settlements spread all over the northern Negev.
Yet Israel's attitude towards its Bedouin citizens has always been positive. The state uses all the means at its disposal to improve the life of the Negev Bedouin community, and Hura is considered to be a flagship project in this sense. Unlike illegal villages with scarce access to water, electricity and services, Hura provides the residents with all their basic needs and the State encourages scattered Bedouin tribes to settle in Hura by giving them land plots with ready built homes at a nominal cost.
There are 8 schools in the village (December 2009), among them "Amal", "Atid al-Nur" and others. Members of different families study in separate schools due to conflicts between families. Village members have an opportunity for a post-secondary education at an "Ahad" school that gives preparation for academic studies in the university. Girls living in Hura and studying at local schools show excellent results - a very large number of them pass school graduation exams successfully. Overall, 6.5% percent of Hura's residents have a college degree.
There is an operating industrial park in Hura with some 60 industrial plots giving jobs to hundreds village members. It is supposed to be extended in the coming years.
This industrial park offers employment and output opportunities to the community members who decide to move to Hura.
In March 2012, Bezeq launched a women only call center which supports its internet service division, in an effort to reduce the unemployment rate of Bedouin women. The initial proposal was made by Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor and JDC-Israel.
There are several community projects in Hura. Most of them are grass-roots, but supported by the state. Among them - "Women in Hura" (120 local women prepare meals for the schoolchildren) a business that makes an annual revenue of three million dollars, "Green Hura" (NIS 1.5 million shekels invested in planting of greenery and improving the appearance of the village), "Wadi Atir" (a farm for ecological agriculture and tourism), a textile processing, sewing and clothes production course for Bedouin women, and others.
Other employment opportunities
In March 2012 The Bezeq telecommunications group in cooperation with the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry launched a new call center inside a Hura mosque as a part of an effort to combat female unemployment in the Negev Bedouin community. It provides assistance to Internet customers. The call center is managed and operated by 50 Bedouin women, mostly from Hura, but is supposed to employ more women in the future.
There are also accelerators in Hura to foster new business ventures in the area.
Mayors of Hura
- Dr. Muhammad Al-Nabari (2005–present)
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- The Chemistry Ph.D. With the Formula to Save One of Israel's Poorest Communities
- Medical clinics in Hura, Bezeq
- "Bezeq launches call center inside Bedouin mosque". Ynet. 26 March 2012.
- Hope in Hura
- The Wadi Atir Project Jerusalem Post, December 15, 2011
- Project Wadi Attir -- A Model Sustainable Desert Community in the Negev
- Bedouin projects The Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development For an Inclusive and Thriving Israeli Society
- Israeli phone center inside Arab Bedouin Mosque Al Arabiya news, May 5, 2012
- Bezeq launches call center inside Bedouin mosque
- Bedouin Town Rewrites the Rules by Developing Infrastructure and Business