The Negev desert is a triangle with an area of 130 000km² occupies a large part of the land of Israel (66%).
It is bounded to the north by the city of Beer-Shiva, the south by the sea resort of Eilat, on the east by the Wadi Arava and west by the Sinai.
It takes its name from a Hebrew word meaning "south".
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in this arid desert and lifeless as the fanciest Mark Twain.
On such a large area, it is normal to find contrasting areas.
This is the case with the northern Negev, the Negev Center, the Western Negev Plateau Negev and the Arava Valley.
What we note in these areas there is the presence of huge sand hills and irregular rainfall which varies from 5 to 30 cm making the poor soil and little conducive to the cultivation.
The atmosphere is very warm.
Far from discouraged Israeli, the Negev desert was an opportunity for them to prove an uncommon intelligence as their professed Gouriou Ben David (David's son Leo).
They knew little clothing handle this generous nature into a habitat, prevent the desert advance and cultivate the land productively.
The origins of the inhabitants of the Negev desert are looking into periods of the 14th and 17th centuries among the Bedouins of Arabia.
They say they would have come here to seek a better life, or transit to flee Mecca non-peaceful land.
There are many tribes such as the Tarabin, the Tyaha the Ayada, and Muzayna.
In the Negev desert, there are lakes formed from water and mountains collapse.
From this follows the machteshim called craters.
There are three in the Negev desert:
-The Small Machtesh
-The Grand Machtesh
-The Machtesh Ramon
These are sites whose centers of Israeli geological studies and derive much that arouse much curiosity.
Three cities stand out in the eastern part of the desert, they are:
- Arad: This area enjoys an economic growth beginning and an unobstructed by industrial development climate.
It is very pleasant for the person in poor health or with x breathing difficulties.
- Dimona: 20 000 people living on this land, the Dimona area is characterized by the presence of nuclear weapons manufacturing plants and the cult of the Black Hebrews are not averse to breathe the air very dry.
It was created around 1950 south of Eilat.
-Mamshit: The stronghold of the Nabateans.
Its origin in the 1st century.
The city experienced the Byzantine invasion, the Romans around the year 106, the passage of the Muslims but was marked by the Nabatean people of Arabia who elevated to a prosperous town by taming nature and feeding ground water.
Nowadays, there are Roman remains, frescoes and bronzes jars in its archeological sites.
Then comes the Arava valley bounded on the east by Jordan and to the west by Israel.
Yotvata found there, Lotan, kibbutzim as they are called.
The land in the valley were known to be rich in copper and mining (Solomon's mines were there).
Arava Valley, which runs along the border with Jordan, is Israel's savannah region which covers 180 km.
It begins at the golf Eilat in the south and extends to the northern tip of the Dead Sea.
arid and little usable land, the Arava Valley shines through its lunar landscapes.
Located in a remote corner of eastern Negev, the Arava valley is the most secluded area of Israel.
Water resources are extremely scarce.
Temperatures can reach 50 °.
In all directions, the landscape is dry, burned and desolate. A mission sent by the British fund exploration of Palestine in 1865 had declared that the area was "inappropriate for human habitation."
Perpetuate the vision
Where others saw only an inhospitable environment, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion saw the potential.
Here, Ben Gurion had proclaimed that "the people and the State of Israel will fulfill the noble mission of populating a wild place and flourish do so."
A visitor sent by Israel Bonds, the organization that helped Israel to do the impossible, found that ingenuity and determination strength, the residents of the Arava have worked wonders who even let Ben Gurion surprised, y including to provide 60% of exports of vegetables countries to Europe and 10% of exports of cut flowers.
Noah Zer, who lives in one of five moshavim of the valley, the first was established in 1959, is proud to be part of "the realization of the vision of Ben Gurion."
There are two years old, she left behind the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv to live in a place where something as simple as going to the bank (so to Eilat or Beersheba) can take an entire day .
The adaptation has not been easy, though she loves the "strong sense of community and belonging that are found in the Arava."
The challenges of everyday life and work in the Arava are great.
Environment hard and inhospitable.
There is even minefields, from the years of conflict between Israel and Jordan.
When torrential rains of winter arrive, flash floods can dislodge mines, taking away with the current, and explains Noah Zer, as they are plastic, can not seek the help of a metal detector.
We must carefully crawl on the floor, and look for underwater mines in the mud to extract gently.
Above all, there is the issue of water, and this is where all the Israeli ingenuity manifested. desalination plants powered by solar energy.
Tanks capturing raw surface water.
Fish in the desert
Arava is also the site of R & D activities highly advanced.
Arava Science Center-Dead Sea continues many scientific projects in parallel, including extracting compounds of desert plants in order to seek solutions to various human diseases, biotech, geology, desertification.
It attracts international delegations wishing to take advantage of the Israeli expertise.
The center has also developed a way to use the resulting brine desalination in fish ponds.
The success of the center in raising tropical fish in the desert earned him a sustainability award.
An amazing transformation
Members of Exploration Fund Palestine that we mentioned earlier would no doubt bewildered by everything that happens in this seemingly hostile environment.
But we are in Israel, and all this, and even more, the result of fundamental changes in the Arava microcosm of the spirit of Israel's business.
A suivre: / To be continued: /