Negev Villages May Get Boost

The removal of the Sinai settlements after a peace treaty is signed with Egypt has raised high hopes in two remote Negev villages, Mitzpeh Ramon and Yeruham. Off the beaten track and without an industrial base, they have declined in recent years and seemed almost forgotten. But with heavy development expected in the Negev, including the construction of two U.S. financed air bases to compensate for the airfields that will be given up in Sinai, both hamlets foresee an economic boom with an influx of workers, jobs and investment.