Protesters hurl smoke grenades near PM's home

Environmental activists opposed to new offshore drilling threw 3 active smoke grenades into a garbage bin near Netanyahu's Caesarea home.

Guy Cohen ,

Protest at Caesarea
Protest at Caesarea
Shomrei Habayit

Environmental activists threw three active smoke grenades into a garbage bin near Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Caesarea home. No one was reported hurt and no damage is known to have been caused.

The activists were holding a protest against the new plans for extraction of natural gas from the Leviathan gas field, which call for the construction of production platforms just 10 kilometers away from Israel's beach.

Police forces, including a bomb disposal expert, were alerted in order to deal with the grenades. In addition, an investigation has been launched, in order to find the person or persons responsible for the act.

The protestors condemn Netanyahu for recently agreeing to site up to 16 massive gas platforms, each about 130 meters high, just 7 to 10 km from Israel's shore, between Netanya and Haifa. The fumes, they say, will affect the population along the coast, posing a significant health risk.

In addition, the new plan for Leviathan calls for processing highly toxic and potentially carcinogenic condensate, a valuable natural gas byproduct, at the Hagit power station south of Haifa. Objectors say most gas-producing countries avoid processing condensate close to population centers and prefer to do so out at sea.

The earlier plans for developing Leviathan called for the use of FPSO (Floating, Processing, Storage and Offloading) barges, which would be located more than 100 kilometers away from the shore. Yet these plans were scrapped and a new plan has received the support of Netanyahu – for reasons that are not clear.