After the 1948 War, Eilat becomes strategically vital for Israeli access to the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and beyond. As a port, it allows Israel access to oil flows from Iran, critical to the state in its early years while Egypt blocked the Suez Canal to Israel’s use. To that end, the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline is built in 1957, along with the Eilat-Haifa pipeline in 1959. In keeping with the opening of the Negev for establishment of development cities to accommodate new immigrants, the new Highway makes it possible for trucks and passenger cars to travel between Beersheba and Eilat in under three hours and to Tel Aviv in four.