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Tree plantations in the north of the Negev Desert. Leading researchers on Israel's deserts are hopeful that by establishing a belt of forests along the northern edge of the Negev, they can reverse the desertification process that is occurring here. A 30-square-kilometre forest was established on the southern slopes of Mount Hebron in 1964 by the Jewish National Fund and continues to grow today. Around 70 percent of Israel's forests are man-made.