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      IDF Lowered Air Pollution in Jenin

      Destruction of 32 illegal charcoal production sites improved air quality in the region.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 1/31/2012, 10:42 AM

      Six months after the destruction of 32 illegal charcoal production sites in the Jenin region of Samaria, the IDF Civil Administration is pleased with the improved air quality in the region.

      "We lowered the level of air pollution in the region by dozens of percentage points," a Civil Administration official told IDF Website's Florit Shoihet.

      Last June, the Civil Administration demolished 32 charcoal production sites, which use techniques unchanged since the Bronze Age. The charcoal production process at these sites, involving prolonged and controlled burning of wood, produced air pollution in Arab and Jewish communities in Samaria and pre-1967 Israel.

      The Civil Administration is planning to demolish 20 more sites in the region soon. All are operating without permits.

      "We are looking at the Adam Retort model of charcoal production as an alternative, which will be given to all 400 polluting charcoal production sites in Judea and Samaria," Benny Elbaz, a environmental staff officer for the Civil Administration, told the IDF.

      The new model, which is currently being tested in Slovenia, will provide a potential solution to the pollution problem in charcoal production. It will be ready for use in three months' time.

      There are currently around 400 charcoal production sites operating in the Jenin region, some of which have been running for more than 70 years. Of the 400, 38 are located in Area C  -- the part of Judea and Samaria under full Israeli military and civil control.