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    LATITUDE: 31°13'24"N / LONGITUDE: 34°24'0"E, October 10, 2011. Piles of discarded plastic refuse burning after the harvest in the outskirts of the Mivtaḥim (lit., “safe havens”) moshav. Established on January 7, 1947, by Haʽoved HaTzioni (the Zionist Youth settlement movement founded in 1936; lit., “The Zionist Worker”), the moshav took its name from Isaiah 32:18: “And my people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, residents evacuated Mivtaḥim and joined with residents of Nitzanīm (lit., “flower buds”) to found a new kibbutz. All that remains today of the original settlement is a security building. This region of the southern border with Gaza is densely crowded with moshavim. The space falls within the former Palestinian village and pasturelands of al-Ksar/al-Najamāt, of the Tarabīn tribe., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°12'45"N / LONGITUDE: 35°11'60"E, October 4, 2011. Remains of Bedouin homesteads, south of Arad, near the unrecognized villages of al-Qurʽān and Qabbūʽa. Both Bedouin and Jewish local residents from Arad oppose a current government plan to establish a phosphate quarry on the site, stating health concerns including potential exposure to radioactive dust. The Bedouin settlement was evacuated when the Israeli military established a live-fire zone on the site, which will eventually be replaced by the mine. In winter people and livestock stayed within the enclosures on the lower slope and in summer they moved to the higher slopes. The earthwork enclosures below the dirt road that crosses from left to right were built by the Bedouins around places where their tents used to stand, for instance on the concrete floor within the gun-shaped enclosure on the left. The raised earthworks above the dirt road show traces of heavy mechanical equipment, which indicates that they are military enclosures for live-fire training. At top right a train of camels can be seen, led by one person., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 30°44'35"N / LONGITUDE: 34°52'47"E, October 9, 2011. Sentry post along the Petra–Gaza incense route. The military post, the remains of which can be seen on top of the mound, was constructed to provide protection for the camel caravans traveling along the route. Shallow foot and animal paths can be seen throughout the space, and two large tracks made by military and off-road vehicles run around the side of the post. In the Nabataean era, which was at its height between the third and second centuries BC, the towns of Ḥalutza, Mamshit, Ovdat/ʽAbdāt (Heb./Arabic), and Shivta, along with associated fortresses in the Negev, traded incense and spices along a route that extended more than two thousand miles between southern Arabia and the Mediterranean. This site lies directly at the center of the main route between Petra, the capital of the Nabataean kingdom in Jordan, and Gaza. Today, these ruins are used as a marker point for military navigation., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°3'51"N / LONGITUDE: 34°45'32"E, October 9, 2011. Infantry trenches simulating enemy installations for military maneuvers in a closed military live-fire zone. The trenches have been carved by a large bulldozer and the space is marked by tire tracks made by military vehicles. In the lower right hand corner and at the center of the frame, ditches in a U-shaped form have been prepared as tank positions. This was the historic Bedouin land of al-Masʽudīn, of the ʽAzāzme tribe, which was evacuated in the winter of 1948/49., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°1'48"N / LONGITUDE: 34°33'56"E, November 13, 2011. Remains of Rehovot-in-the-Negev/Ruḥeiba (Heb./Arabic). During the Nabataean era, this was the second largest city along the northeast–south Nabataean spice route. The importance of the settlement was due to its location in the center of the Ḥalutza–Nitzana–Sinai trade route. In the fifth century, during the Byzantine era, the city’s population was over 10,000. The city is now located on sand dunes close to the Egyptian border and encircled by closed military live-fire training zones, operative during weekdays. At bottom left is a water pool connected to a deep well. Also visible on the left is the main access route into the town which leads to the reconstructed central square. From the ground, these are the only visible remains. The rest of the city appears like a set of haphazard topographical wrinkles. From the air, at the end of the summer, the city becomes visible under a seemingly transparent layer of earth., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°3'8"N / LONGITUDE: 34°45'17"E, October 9, 2011. Pita (a circular form simulating an enemy installation) for military maneuvers in a closed military live-fire training zone. Three kilometers to the east is Kibbutz Revivim (lit., “rain showers”), founded in 1943 with help from the UK government and young European immigrants as one of three lookouts built on land owned by the JNF, with the goal of securing the land and assessing its feasibility for agriculture. The residents of the lookouts made extensive geophysical surveys and conducted agricultural experiments for this purpose. These points would be the basis for further Jewish settlement in the Negev. Initially named Tel HaTzofim (lit., “scout’s hill”), it would be the home of Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel, later in life., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°18'6"N / LONGITUDE: 35°5'17"E, October 9, 2011. Outskirts of the Arab village of al-Dreijāt, established in the nineteenth century, but not recognized by the State of Israel until 2004. This is the only Arab village in the Negev that is not Bedouin. Between 250 and 350 people belonging to the Ḥammūlat Bahitz (a ḥammūla is a traditional kinship social structure) have been living in this space for 16 years. Originally the people were fallaḥīn (Arabic, “farmers”) similar to the al-Dreijāt people. This particular cluster is unrecognized by the Israeli government, which plans to establish a new recognized town for them, Marit, one kilometer away. The residents oppose this new construction. Surrounding the homes is the start of badlands, with the chalk subsoil rising in parts of the landscape to the surface. A chalk quarry is in the process of expansion a few hundred meters to the north of the site., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 30°57'10"N / LONGITUDE: 34°56'19"E, November 14, 2011. The piled stones along the upper ridge, typical of the Nabataean era, are known as tuleilat al-ʽēnab (Arabic, “grape mounds”). These conical formations, measuring about 100 × 30 centimeters, were generally placed on the hillside in order to clear the slopes and increase the surface runoff from the rains into the wadis below. The high slopes−with abundant sunlight, and with the black flint of the surface radiating the solar heat−are the perfect environment in which to grow grapes. Moisture collected within the center of the mound protects and nurtures the young grape vine, while the mound allows the vines to trail along the outer angle rather than on the ground. The site is beside the HaMakhtesh HaGadol (Hebrew, lit., “big crater”), Israel’s second largest crater, near Yeruḥam, Israel’s first development town., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°20'30"N / LONGITUDE: 34°46'57"E, October 9, 2011. Earthwork preparation for planting of the JNF’s Ambassador Forest following the demolition of the unrecognized village of al-ʽAraqīb. In the upper portion of the image, slightly to the right, is a cluster of white rocks that surround the harāba (Arabic, “cistern”) Rashid. The path at left leads to the al-ʽUqbi family cemetery and tribal land. All the residents of this area were evicted in 1951 by the Israeli military, which claimed the site was needed temporarily for military maneuvers. In 2011, the year after al-ʽAraqīb was demolished, and while the JNF was preparing the land for planting, the Negev Coexistence Forum (Dukium), together with the Campaign for Bedouin–Jewish Justice in Israel and Rabbis for Human Rights, protested to the American Friends of the JNF that there was a case pending. Without explanation, the planting was halted and continued in other parts of the former village. The troughs remain., from the series Desert Bloom
    LATITUDE: 31°1'5"N / LONGITUDE: 34°57'5"E, November 14, 2011. Remnants of an extension to the Bedouin village of Rakhma, of the ʽAzāzme tribe. The multiple circular stains indicate the earlier presence of sire (livestock pens), which were removed and reconstructed several times. The gradient of saturation indicates how many rainy seasons/years have washed away at the stains. The faded circle in the lower right indicates that it is older, while the one in the upper left is darker, and the most recent is the one at the center, where the fertilization blankets the soil, not yet melding with the desert. A faint fourth circle may be detected just to the left of the lower one. The light manual plowing or “scratching” of the ground is indicative of ongoing Bedouin cultivation. In the absence of mechanized watering systems, the crops are watered by hand. The site is now officially within a closed military live-fire training zone. Despite this restriction, the Bedouins maintain a presence on the land., from the series Desert Bloom

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