A few days before extensive building plans on the Palmahim coast return to the
decision-making tables of the country’s planning institutions, environmental
activists have turned to Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan and Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in appeal.
The Society for the Protection of
Nature is leading the campaign to save the beach and has drafted a form letter
the public can send to Netanyahu and Erdan, asking them to keep their promises
to maintain a natural coastline in the area.
Joining SPNI in the campaign
– called Last Chance to Save Palmahim Beach – are other environmental
organizations, including Green Course, Shatil, the Committee to Save Palmahim
Beach, the Israeli Forum for the Preservation of Beaches and Adam Teva V’Din
(Israel Union for Environmental Defense).
The form letter is available on
the campaign’s website, which is being run through an external site called
Efforts to rid Palmahim Beach of plans to build a leisure
complex on its sands have been going on for years. In July 2010, green activists
succeeded and the government decided to cancel the project.
two-and-a-half years ago (July 2010), through your leadership, the government
made a historic decision to cancel the destructive building plans on Palmahim
beach, leaving it natural for the public today and for future generations,” the
letter says. “Despite the government’s decision and your crucial involvement,
building plans on Palmahim Beach have not yet been eliminated.”
Israel Lands Authority (ILA) and the government fail to follow through on a
commitment to compensate the contractor for canceling the project, the plans to
construct the resort on the beach will once again come to the table of the
district committee for planning and building, the form letter continued. “I
appeal to you with a moral and public obligation, to realize the government’s
decision and promise, and to act to bring the beach to the public, even before
the elections,” the letter concludes.
By the end of the day on Thursday,
the public had signed and emailed over 1,200 of the letters, according to the
In response to the campaign, a government source told
The Jerusalem Post
that a compensatory agreement between the ILA and the
contractor was already underway.