IDF's Negev 'training city' gets 'green' green light

Prof. Eli Stern, presents a report saying construction would not pose any dangers in an emergency.

idf training 224.44 (photo credit: IDF)
idf training 224.44
(photo credit: IDF)
Construction of the IDF's "city of training schools" in the Negev can now go forward, after a top environmental health expert, Prof. Eli Stern, presented a report saying it would not pose any dangers in an emergency, and US tests confirmed that the soil there is "not contaminated," even though the location is close to Ramat Hovav, where 600 different types of chemicals are buried. Asked whether he would sleep soundly if a son of his stayed at the large military facility (Bahad City) to be built in the area, Health Ministry deputy director-general Dr. Chezi Levi, who is in charge of the medical administration, said on Thursday that he would. "It will be safer there than in the Haifa industrial area," Levi declared. Environmental groups had taken the issue to the High Court of Justice, claiming that thousands of soldiers who will reside there for months at a time would be endangered by the chemicals in the soil and in the air. Stern, who previously was chief scientist at the Environmental Protection Ministry, said that in an emergency, if some pipe exploded or something else unexpected happened, no resident would be endangered by what was in the air or soil. Although numerous tests have previously shown that ordinarily life in the training school "city" would not be unhealthy, the Health Ministry has been asked to present another study of environmental conditions within a year.