Ministry fails again to close Hamat Gader [pg. 8]

By JUDY SIEGEL
April 21, 2006 02:03
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

In a ping-pong game that has frustrated Health Ministry officials who claim the thermo-mineral water pools at Hamat Gader - one of the country's most popular tourist sites - are infected, the Nazareth District Court for the third time in six months overruled a ministry closure order on Thursday morning. The ministry said that lab tests of water from the pools, conducted by the Haifa District Health Office, showed excessively high levels of E. coli bacteria and issued a closure order of the pools on the eve of the last day of Pessah. But the court, this time presided over by a different judge - overturned the ministry order and refused to have the Hamat Gader facility closed down. "If it were water from the Mediterranean Sea with such high bacteriological counts, we would close it down immediately," ministry sources said, "but somehow Hamat Gader always manages to get our orders overturned." The ministry said on the eve of the holiday that Hamat Gader's pools were unfit for bathing and anyone who used them was liable to endanger his or her health. This enraged the tourist site, which has had 14-million visitors since it opened nearly 28 years ago. "Nothing has happened to any of them," argued Hamat Gader managing director Dani Levinstein. Last November, the ministry issued its first order to close the pools after conducting bacteriological tests. But the Nazareth court reversed the order, criticizing the ministry for allegedly failing to prove its claims of danger; the pools, the judge said, should be judged according to standards for thermo-mineral water and not swimming pools. In February, the ministry conducted tests for a second time, and reached the same conclusion it had three months before. But the court again reversed the order. Hamat Gader decided to sue the ministry for NIS 15 million for damages. The ministry spokeswoman said Thursday that its sole interest was protecting public health and that it would continue to do so.

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia

By UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM