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The ceremony opening the Idan HaNegev interchange was attended by Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, Mayor of Rahat Faiz Abu Sahiban; Mayor of Lehavim Eli Levy; senior management of Netivey Israel and Ministry of Transportation staff.

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli officially opened the new “Idan HaNegev” interchange in southern Israel on Wednesday.

The interchange, which connects Rahat, Lehavim and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council with an intersection between Highways 31 and 40, and Route 310, cost the government some NIS 146 million.

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Michaeli called the project “a positive development for all residents of the Negev that strengthens settlements across the region as a whole and connects the south to the center and vice versa.”

The interchange was completed three months ahead of schedule, she noted.

“Transport is not only about getting physically from one place to another. Transport is the way we all get where we want to be in life, to places of work, studies, business and community building,” she said.

“This new interchange is a gateway to a better world, a world of progress and development and equal opportunities between Jews and Arabs,” she added.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.