Israeli Gov't. Committed to the Negev

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BEERSHEVA, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held Sunday's Cabinet meeting in Beersheva, the city often referred to as "the capital of the Negev" to underscore the government's commitment to developing the South.

Silvan Shalom, minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee, said the government's goal is "to bring 300,000 new residents to the Negev in the coming decade."

Industry and Trade Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said this government is committed to providing new opportunities for residents of southern Israel.

"The high unemployment rate in Beersheva - 11 percent, compared to an average 7.2 percent in the rest of the country - requires us, as a government, and me as minister of industry, to place a special emphasis on the Negev and specifically on Beersheva," Ben-Eliezer said.

Netanyahu announced the resumption of a rail project, which will connect Israel's southernmost resort city, Eilat, with the center of the country.

Netanyahu said the railway would not only provide "a trade route between Asia and Europe," but would also "open the entire South for travelers."

Source: YNet news

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