The Negev (Neh-Gehv Hebrew נֶגֶב) is the desert region of southern Israel. In Biblical Hebrew Negev means "south". The Negev covers the greater amount of Israel's official Southern District.
Geographically, the over 13,000km² Negev forms an inverted triangle whose western side is contiguous with the desert of the Sinai peninsula, and whose eastern border is the Wadi Arabah.
Its central city is Beer Sheva (pop. around 200,000), in the north. The southern end is at the Gulf of Eilat and the resort town of Eilat. Other towns include Dimona and Mitzpe Ramon, and a number of Bedouin towns, including Rahat and Tel Sheva.
The Negev has a number of interesting cultural and geological features. Among these are three enormous, craterlike erosion cirques or machteshim, which are unique to the region: ha-Machtesh ha-Gadol ("The Large Crater"), ha-Machtesh ha-Katan ("The Small Crater") and the Ramon Crater. The last is the biggest of all, in fact - it is probably the largest natural crater on Earth (it was not formed by asteroid impact).
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