JERUSALEM (Sep. 7)
Israel’s southern desert, the Negev, now a so-called dead region, may yet become the more important half of the State, Dov Joseph, Israel Minister of Development, forecast today.
A whole complex of industrial plants, designed to exploit the mineral resources of the Negev, is now in the blueprint stage awaiting Government approval after study by foreign experts, Mr. Joseph said. The project, he said, will involve the expenditure of 54,000,000 pounds, half of it in foreign currency covered by reparations purchases.
Work began last week-end on the last stage of a new road from the central Negev to the port of Eilat. The new road cuts the distance about 20 kilometers and also has the supreme advantage over the present Araba road of not being exposed to Arab attack.