Rahat is the largest Bedouin town in the Negev.
Four detailed plans for Rahat were deposited in July, a few days after the outline plan for south Rahat came into effect. The outline plan covers the construction of roads, infrastructures and groundwork for the first stage of south Rahat's development. The four plans call for the construction of 4,500 housing units over a 3,300-dunam (825-acre) area.
Rahat is the largest Bedouin town in the Negev, and one of the most densely populated Bedouin town in the country. Israel's Bedouin have one of the highest rates of natural population growth in the world, and families tend to expand existing houses on available adjacent lots, enabling extended family members to live together. For this reason, lots marketed to the Bedouin are larger than those for Jews, Furthermore, the government has been strongly encouraging the Bedouin to move from dispersed camps to permanent towns.
Another plan will shortly be deposited for the area south of Nahal Gerar (Wadi el-Hazan), zoned for Rahat's main public buildings and open public space.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on August 15, 2004