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      Archive: 2/6/2012
      10:49
      Reported

      News Brief

        2/6/2012, Shevat 13, 5772

      12 Tur'an Residents Suspected of Harming Nature


      About 200 officers from the Israel Police's unit for combatting economic crime raided, Monday morning, a facility belonging to a family from the Galilee Muslim town of Tur'an, west of Tiberias, arresting 12 of the residents on suspicion of harming forests of the Keren Kayemet Leyisrael (Jewish National Fund) and northern nature reserves over the course of many years. Many weapons, including pistols, rifles and ammunition, were seized during the raids, which also involved Keren Kayemet inspectors, the Green Commando Unit, representatives of the Israel Lands Administration and the staff of the Income Tax Authority. The police aldo confiscated engineering equipment found in the area and intend to seize the bank accounts and assets held by the family.

      The detainees are scheduled to be questioned during the course of the day following a remand hearing in Rishon Letzion. They are specificly accused of uprooting trees and digging dolomite and limestone, which they allegedly sold at a nursery at the nearby Golani Junction, and are also suspected of failure to pay taxes on 19 million shekels worth of income. The damage they are accused of causing, some of it irreversible, is estimated in the millions of dollars.