Negev Desert, Israel

Negev Desert, Israel Public

Mickey

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The Negev (Hebrew: הַנֶּגֶב‬, Tiberian vocalization: han-Néḡeḇ ; Arabic: النقب‎ an-Naqab) is a desert and semidesert region of southern Israel. The region's largest city and administrative capital is Beersheba (pop. 205,810), in the north. At its southern end is the Gulf of Aqaba and the resort city of Eilat. It contains several development towns, including Dimona, Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, as well as a number of small Bedouin cities, including Rahat and Tel as-Sabi and Lakyah. 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.

The desert is home to the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, whose faculties include the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research and the Albert Katz International School for Desert Studies, both located on the Midreshet Ben-Gurion campus adjacent to Sde Boker.

In October 2012, global travel guide publisher Lonely Planet rated the Negev second on a list of the world's top ten regional travel destinations for 2013, noting its current transformation through development.

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