'If pollution not treated we'll turn to courts'

Green Now demands all authorities handle pollution of Ayalon river near Givat Ze'ev, threaten appeal to courts if situation doesn't improve.

Mordechai Sones,

Givat Zeev land pollution
Givat Zeev land pollution
Green Now

The Green Association is now taking a final step before initiating legal proceedings in an attempt to save Nahal Ayalon in the Givat Ze'ev area.

The association's attorney, Tomer Yisrael, sent a pointed letter to a number of senior officials on the matter, demanding the problem be dealt with immediately.

Addressees included Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin, Director of the Jerusalem District of the Environmental Protection Ministry Shuni Goldberg, Head of the Civil Administration Brig.-Gen. Achvat Ben Hur, Chairman of the Supreme Planning Council Architect Natalia Averbuch, Yossi Avrahami and others.

In the letter, Yisrael notes, "As part of the construction of new neighborhoods above the stream according to the approved plans, the surrounding area has become an extensive dumping site, where dirt piles and quarry waste are dumped everywhere without approval or planning and even roads are paved without permits or plans. This conduct severely harms the environment, the rule of law, proper administration, and perhaps even worse, constitutes a serious danger to the safety and security of the residents."

According to him, the riverbed itself (!) has become a vast unpaved dirt road with truck traffic, a road that was breached without planning and without a clear environmental position. The back of the eastern ridge, once a security lane, became a very wide road on which trucks ride and dump dirt and building debris. This road was also breached, according to our understanding, without an engineering plan and without any environmental planning. Piles of shredded debris from the east and west of the neighborhood are often dumped from trucks full of building waste. The nearby archeological site was damaged and the destruction was stopped only after our intervention, and it is doubtful if there is any way to rehabilitate it."

Toward the end of the letter, Adv. Yirael puts forward a series of demands: "Act immediately to stop the dumping of dirt, digging debris, construction waste, etc. without proper permits. Prepare an orderly plan that will include defining a reasonable period of time for the completion of the expansion of the park as required. Act to remove the hazards from the Ayalon River and its environs urgently and restore it to its natural state or another situation in accordance with an approved plan that includes an environmental consultant's position. Act to rehabilitate the archaeological site and make it a protected site. Conduct an in-depth examination of the responsible parties for this grave failure."

The letter ends with an implicit hint, "In order to avoid the need to take legal action, I would be grateful if you would personally act for the prompt handling of the above.

"We recently joined forces with the residents and decided that if no one takes responsibility for the environment, there will be no choice and we will have to petition the High Court of Justice who will instruct them to take responsibility."

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