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There are also several kibbutzim , including Revivim and Sde Boker ; the latter became the home of Israel's first Prime Minister , David Ben-Gurion , after his retirement from politics. Although historically a separate region, the Negev was added to the proposed area of Mandatory Palestine , of which large parts later became Israel , on 10 July , having been conceded by British representative St John Philby "in Trans-Jordan 's name".

In October , global travel guide publisher Lonely Planet rated the Negev second on a list of the world's top ten regional travel destinations for , noting its current transformation through development. The origin of the word 'negev' is from the Hebrew root denoting 'dry'.

In the Bible, the word Negev is also used for the direction 'south'; some English-language translations use the spelling " Negeb ".

The Negev mentioned in the Hebrew Bible consisted only of the northernmost part of the modern Israeli Negev with, the semiarid Arad - Beersheba Valley defined as "the eastern biblical Negev". In Arabic, the Negev is known as al-Naqab or an-Naqb "the [mountain] pass" , [5] [6] though it was not thought of as a distinct region until the demarcation of the Egypt-Ottoman frontier in the s and has no traditional Arabic name.

During the British Mandate , it was called Beersheba sub-district. It forms an inverted triangle shape whose western side is contiguous with the desert of the Sinai Peninsula , and whose eastern border is the Arabah valley. The Negev has a number of interesting cultural and geological features.

The Negev is a rocky desert. It is a melange of brown, rocky, dusty mountains interrupted by wadis dry riverbeds that bloom briefly after rain and deep craters. It can be split into five different ecological regions: northern, western and central Negev, the high plateau and the Arabah Valley. Sand dunes can reach heights of up to 30 metres here.

It has inferior soils in which little can grow without irrigation and special soil additives. Vegetation in the Negev is sparse, but certain trees and plants thrive there, among them Acacia , Pistacia , Retama , Urginea maritima and Thymelaea. Evrona is the most northerly point in the world where this palm can be found. However the northernmost areas of the Negev, including Beersheba , are semi-arid.


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The usual rainfall total from June through October is zero. Snow and frost are rare in the northern Negev, and snow and frost are unknown in the vicinity of Eilat in the southernmost Negev. Nomadic life in the Negev dates back at least 4, years [19] and perhaps as much as 7, years. The first urbanized settlements were established by a combination of Canaanite , Amalekite , Amorite , Nabataean and Edomite groups circa BC.

According to Israeli archaeologists, in the Hebrew Bible , the term Negev only relates to the northern, semiarid part of what we call Negev today; of this, the Arad - Beersheba Valley, which receives enough rain as to allow agriculture and thus sedentary occupation the " desert fringe " , is accordingly defined as "the eastern biblical Negev".

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According to the Book of Genesis chapter 13, Abraham lived for a while in the Negev after being banished from Egypt Genesis ,3. During the Exodus journey to the Promised Land, Moses sent twelve scouts into the Negev to assess the land and population Numbers Later the northern part of biblical Negev was inhabited by the Tribe of Judah and the southern part of biblical Negev by the Tribe of Simeon. The Negev was later part of the Kingdom of Solomon in its entirety, all the way to the Red Sea , and then, with varied extension to the south, part of the Kingdom of Judah.

In the 9th century BC, development and expansion of mining in both the Negev and Edom modern Jordan coincided with the rise of the Assyrian Empire.


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  4. The 4th century BC arrival of the Nabateans resulted in the development of irrigation systems that supported new urban centers located along the Negev incense route at Avdat , Mamshit , Shivta , Haluza Elusa , and Nitzana. Nabatean currency and the remains of red and orange potsherds , identified as a trademark of their civilization, have been found along the route, remnants of which are also still visible. Byzantine rule in the 4th century AD introduced Christianity to the population. The southern Negev saw a flourishing of economic activity during the 8th to 10th or 11th centuries.

    Nomadic tribes ruled the Negev largely independently and with a relative lack of interference for the next thousand years. Scarcity of water and of permanent pastoral land required them to move constantly. The Bedouin in years past established few permanent settlements, although some were built, leaving behind remnants of stone houses called 'baika.

    In the Ottoman Empire established an administrative center for southern Syria at Beersheba including schools and a railway station. In the Turkish authorities estimated the nomadic population at 55, In , the Bedouin component of the population was estimated at 72, out of a total of 75, for the Beersheba sub-district. During the War of Independence, Israel secured its sovereignty over the Negev.

    In the early years of the state, it absorbed many of the Jewish refugees from Arab countries , with the Israeli government setting up many development towns , such as Arad , Sderot and Netivot. Since then, the Negev has also become home to many of the Israel Defense Forces ' major bases - a process accelerating in the past two decades. As of , the Negev was home to some , people or 8. The population of the Negev is expected to reach 1.

    Blueprint Negev is a Jewish National Fund project introduced in A major Israel Defense Forces training base is being constructed in the Negev to accommodate 10, army personnel and 2, civilian staff. Three more bases will be built by as part of a plan to vacate land and buildings in Tel Aviv and central Israel, and bring jobs and investment to the south. The Negev Desert and the surrounding area, including the Arava Valley , are the sunniest parts of Israel and little of this land is arable , which is why it has become the center of the Israeli solar industry. A MW solar park in Ashalim , an area in the northern Negev, the Ashalim Power Station , produces Megawatts of energy, using solar mirrors and thermal water heating.

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    It is currently the largest in Israel. The Rotem Industrial Complex outside of Dimona, Israel , has dozens of solar mirrors that focus the Sun's rays on a tower that in turn heats a water boiler to create steam, turning a turbine to create electricity. Luz II, Ltd. Vines have been planted in the Negev since ancient times. In modern times, vineyards have been established in the northern Negev hills using innovative computerized watering methods for irrigation.

    Carmel Winery was the first of the major wineries to plant vineyards in the Negev and operates a boutique winery at Ramat Arad. Its vineyards are on a hill meters above sea level on the outskirts of Yatir Forest. The Negev is home to hazardous infrastructures that include Negev Nuclear Research Center nuclear reactor , 22 agrochemical and petrochemical factories, an oil terminal, closed military zones, quarries, a toxic waste incinerator at Ne'ot Hovav , cell towers, a power plant, several airports, a prison, and 2 rivers of open sewage.

    In , the Tel Aviv municipality was accused of dumping waste in the Negev at the Dudaim dump.

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    In , the Ramat Hovav toxic waste facility was established in Wadi el-Na'am because the area was perceived as invulnerable to leakage. However, within a decade, cracks were found in the rock beneath Ramat Hovav. The study, funded in large part by Ramat Hovav, found higher rates of cancer and mortality for the , people in the area. Prematurely released to the media by an unknown source, the preliminary study was publicly discredited; [51] However, its final conclusions — that Bedouin and Jewish residents near Ramat Hovav are significantly more susceptible than the rest of the population to miscarriages, severe birth defects, and respiratory diseases — passed a peer review several months later.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For places in Iran, see Naqab, Iran. For the light machine gun, see IMI Negev. For the nomadic Arab tribes, see Negev Bedouin. Main article: Negev Bedouins.

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    Main article: Solar power in Israel. This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. January Israel Hayom. Archived from the original on October 6, Retrieved October 29, Lonely Planet. October 23, Archived from the original on March 9, Retrieved April 2, Tel Ira: a stronghold in the biblical Negev.

    Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University. Retrieved 9 July Corpus Inscriptionum Arabicarum Palaestinae. Archived from the original on 23 November One day after Moses had reached adulthood he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. Moses, in order to escape the Pharaoh's death penalty , fled to Midian a desert country south of Judah , where he married Zipporah. Moses returned to carry out God's command, but God caused the Pharaoh to refuse, and only after God had subjected Egypt to ten plagues did the Pharaoh relent.

    Moses led the Israelites to the border of Egypt, but there God hardened the Pharaoh's heart once more, so that he could destroy the Pharaoh and his army at the Red Sea Crossing as a sign of his power to Israel and the nations.