Rahat is a city in the South District of Israel. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), at the end of 2006 the city had a total population of 40,000. As such, it is the largest Bedouin settlement in Israel, and the only one to have the status of city.
Rahat was established in the year 1972, by the government of Israel, as a new settlement for Arab Bedouins, who lived in the surrounding area without permanent domicile. Until the year 1980, Rahat was part of the Bnei Shimon Regional Council and from then on (until 1994) it was a local council (administered by a private board until 1989). In the year 1994 it was recognized as a city and it is the first city of Bedouins in Israel.
According to CBS, in 2001 the ethnic makeup of the city was completely Arab without significant Jewish population . As such, it is the largest Bedouin settlement in Israel.
According to CBS, in 2001 there were 16,300 males and 16,100 females. The population of the city was spread out with 65.2% 19 years of age or younger, 15.8% between 20 and 29, 12.0% between 30 and 44, 4.7% from 45 to 59, 0.9% from 60 to 64, and 1.4% 65 years of age or older. The population growth rate in 2001 was 5.9%.
According to CBS, as of 2000, in the city there were 3,983 salaried workers and 437 are self-employed. The mean monthly wage in 2000 for a salaried worker in the city is ILS 3,008, a real change of -0.8% over the course of 2000. Salaried males have a mean monthly wage of ILS 3,502 (a real change of 0.1%) versus ILS 1,394 for females (a real change of -10.7%). The mean income for the self-employed is 5,198. There are 277 people who receive unemployment benefits and 10,906 people who receive an income guarantee.
Meaning of the name
In Arabic, Rahat means "comfort", "calm" and "peace". It is a unisex name mostly found amongst Islamic individuals.
List of Arab localities in Israel