Beersheba () or Be'er Sheva (Hebrew: בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע Be'er Sheva [be. eʁˈʃeva], Arabic: بئر السبع, lit. Well of Lion) is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel.
Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the center of the fourth most populous metropolitan area in Israel, the eighth most populous Israeli city with a population of 207,551, and the second largest city with a total area of 117,500 dunams (after Jerusalem). The Biblical period references to Beersheva refer to a site, Tel Be'er Sheva, lying some 2 and a half miles distant from the modern city, which was established the start of the 20th century when a permanent settlement was established by the Ottoman Turks. The city was captured by the British led Australian Light Horse during World War I. In 1947, Bir Seb'a (Arabic: بئر السبع), as it was known, was envisioned as part of the Arab state in the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. Following the declaration of Israel's independence, the Egyptian army amassed its forces in Beersheba as a strategic and logistical base.