Thursday, November 8, 2018

South's residents slam green groups' silence over arson terrorism - Nikki Guttman

by Nikki Guttman

Environmental groups' agenda is unclear as they have done nothing to protest the damage months of raging fires have caused to border-adjacent nature reserves, residents say

Nearly 10,000 acres of ‎‎‎‎forest ‎‎and farmlands have been destroyed by 
Palestinian arson terrorism
Photo: Miri Tzahi

Residents of the Gaza-vicinity communities expressed ‎anger Tuesday over what they called environmental ‎groups' inaction in the face of Palestinian arson ‎terrorism. ‎

The terrorist arson campaign, launched in late ‎‎‎‎‎April, ‎has so far decimated nearly 10,000 acres of ‎‎‎‎forest ‎‎and farmlands on the Israeli side of the ‎‎‎‎border. ‎

‎Incendiary kites and balloons have caused ‎‎‎millions ‎‎of dollars in damage to the area over the ‎‎‎past seven ‎‎months and environmental experts ‎say it ‎‎‎will take at ‎‎least 15 years to rehabilitate ‎the ‎‎‎vegetation and ‎‎wildlife that have been destroyed.‎

Still, despite the extensive environmental damage, ‎Israel's green and animal rights groups have ‎remained silent on the issue. ‎

Over 30% of the Karmiya Nature Reserve has been destroyed by 
arson terrorism
Photo: Nir Tsafrir

The residents said their criticism was not aimed at ‎the Israel Nature and Parks ‎Authority or Jewish National Fund – the former a government organization and the latter a quasi-governmental agency – which ‎have been working closely with the authorities to ‎extinguish these fires and minimize the damage, but ‎rather at the dozens of private NGOs that claim to ‎champion environmental and animal-welfare causes.‎

Valeria Mashinsky of Kibbutz Karmiya, about 2.5 ‎miles from Gaza, said she tried contacting various ‎environmental groups over the matter, but got ‎nowhere. ‎

‎"I called various green and animal rights ‎organizations several times and no one answered," she ‎said. ‎‎"I don't understand what agenda they serve. It's ‎very sad that nobody cares. If we were to ‎accidentally torch the zoo in Gaza, everyone would ‎be outraged."

Over 30% of the Karmiya Nature Reserve has been ‎decimated by Palestinian arson terrorism. ‎

Nikki Guttman


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