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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mitzpe Ramon

(Israel Twitter)Mitzpe Ramon (Hebrew: מִצְפֵּה רָמוֹן‎‎, lit. Ramon Lookout) is a town in the Negev desert of southern Israel. It is situated on the northern ridge at an elevation of 860 meters (2,800 feet) overlooking a sizable erosion cirque known as the Ramon Crater.

History

Mitzpe Ramon was founded in 1951 as a camp for the workers building the road to Eilat. The town's first permanent residents, immigrants from North Africa and Romania, settled there in the 1960s, and it became the southernmost of the Negev's development towns. As of 2008, Mitzpe Ramon has a population of 5,500 residents. The mayor is Flora Shoshan, sister of former Israeli defense minister Amir Peretz and wife of the former mayor, Sami Shoshan.

Geology and climate

Ramon Crater, known as a makhtesh, is 38 km long, 6 km wide and 450 meters deep. Mitzpe Ramon experiences hot, dry summers and cold winters. There are moderate to strong winds all year long, caused by its location above the crater, which make Mitzpe Ramon feel much colder than it really is. Snowfall occurs on average once in a couple of years.

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