BĀQĀ AL-GHARBIYYA; BĀQĀ AL-SHARQIYYA, two Muslim-Arab villages in central Israel, east of Ḥaderah. The first became part of Israel following the 1949 armistice agreement with Jordan. The village's economy was developed by the introduction of new farming methods and the establishment of workshops and preserves-industry enterprises. It served as an administrative center for the Arab villages of the vicinity and the seat of the Muslim Shariʿa Court for central Israel. In 1968 it had a population of 6,400, tripling to 19,800 by the end of 2002, with an area of 3.5 sq. mi. (9.1 sq. km.). In 1996   Bāqā al-Gharbiyya received municipal status. Bāqā al-Sharqiyya, which remained on the Jordanian side of the border in 1949, was occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967. In contrast to Bāqā al-Gharbiyya, its layout and economic and social structure remained largely traditional. Its population in 1967 was 1,205, rising to 3,054 in 1997. (Efraim Orni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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