There are approximately 160,000 semi- nomadic, Arab Bedouin living in Israel. They are Israeli citizens, serve in the Israeli army and are known for their hospitality. The Bedouin's main livelihood is raising livestock - camels and black goats. The animals supply milk, meat, hair for weaving and dung for burning as fuel. Marriages are arranged, taking family interests into account. Starting in the late 1960's, the Israeli government built seven Bedouin towns and encouraged resettlement. Although the Bedouin have resisted this policy, their way of life in Israel may be slipping away.
The Bedouin are descended from a nomadic people that have lived in the desert for about 6000 years. The specific Bedouin group in Israel may be directly descended from nomads of the Arabian Peninsula who wandered into Israel about 400-600 years ago.