State ordered to address flooding threat to Dead Sea hotels

The High Court of Justice orders the state to establish a dedicated authority to address the risk.

dead sea road 298 88 (photo credit:
dead sea road 298 88
(photo credit:
The High Court of Justice has rebuked the state for its failure to address the risk of flooding caused by the Dead Sea Works to the hotels on the inland sea. The court ordered the state to establish a dedicated authority to address the flooding risk and to set a schedule for operations with 60 days, in a decision that was signed last week and was passed to the petitioners, the Dead Sea Hotels Association, on Sunday. The association, represented by attorneys Gidon Fisher and Yigal Kave, wrote in the petition that although resources had been allocated to deal with the problem permanently, the state had not kept to the schedule set by its own representatives, and that work had not even begun, as far as was known. "The state is responsible for the matter because based on its recommendations these hotels were built where they are now, although it was known back then that the danger of floods existed as a result of the activity of the Dead Sea Works," the petition read. The court rejected the state's attempt to disclaim responsibility for the anti-flooding project. "The Dead Sea is not just another site where a civil dispute occasionally erupts, but one of the foundation stones of this country. We refuse to believe the state will lend a hand to damaging the [Dead Sea] enterprise," the judges wrote in their ruling. "The State of Israel has to be the engine that pulls the train for these activities, including the commercial operations of all the players - the Dead Sea Works and the hotels." Another hearing was scheduled for November, and representatives from the Tourism Ministry and the head of the dedicated authority were asked to attend.