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
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.
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter