You might notice that there are two colors of ground in this picture – black and white. This is because these mountains are sitting on top of two separate tectonic plates, slowly moving away from one another. The other set of black mountains are across the Arava Valley (southern Israel). For millions of years the mountain ranges have been split, leaving a section of white desert in the middle.
Check out more pictures of this hike up Mt. Shlomo and of the Negev in the HUC Negev Tiyul set on my flickr page.