City Notes: Acre to buy soldiers’ morning train tickets

As of late last month, soldiers are no longer allowed to ride trains north of Tel Aviv for free on Sundays between 6 and 9 a.m.

IDF soldiers  521 (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
IDF soldiers 521
(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
The Acre Municipality will pay for train tickets for soldiers who live in the city and use the railway on Sunday mornings.
As of late last month, soldiers are no longer allowed to ride trains north of Tel Aviv for free on Sundays between 6 and 9 a.m. The change was meant to decrease overcrowding on rail lines.
Acre Mayor Shimon Lankri decried the changes, saying that “the decision not to allow soldiers to ride for free on trains, particularly on Sundays, is a harmful decision that creates an unprecedented situation of discrimination based on [socioeconomic] class, and different sectors of society will be affected.” He explained that some soldiers would be able to enjoy rail service while others would not.
The municipality said that the city and its mayor, “who attach great importance to meaningful military service by the city’s youth, will do everything in their power to eliminate [economic] gaps among local soldiers during their service.”
3.1 magnitude earthquake shakes
North A small earthquake struck the North on Thursday.
Measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale, it sent tremors through the area between Safed and Tiberias.
A number of people contacted the police afterward to say they had felt the tremors, but no resulting damages or injuries were reported.
Police nab large drug stash in Nazareth
Police discovered 19 kilograms of hashish, 2,500 ecstasy pills, and weapons that included explosives during a raid on a Nazareth house late last week.
They arrested a 24-year-old man over the illegal stash, and have requested to extend his remand pending the ongoing investigation.
12 arrested for illegal quarrying
Police arrested 12 residents of the village of Turan on suspicion of illegal quarrying, the Israel Tax Authority said early last week. The suspects, all members of the same family, were quarrying and selling limestone and dolomite. Police say the suspects caused irreparable environmental damage estimated at over NIS 19 million.
The Tax Authority stated that the suspects had been selling the rock for years but had not been reporting the sales to relevant authorities.
Couple found dead in Carmel Forest
A couple was found dead in a car in a Carmel Forest parking lot Monday morning. Magen David Adom paramedics dispatched to the scene pronounced the deaths of the man and woman, aged 69 and 64. Police said they did not suspect criminal involvement, adding that the couple appeared to have committed suicide by running a hose from the exhaust pipe into the car.
Tel Aviv marathon set to be Israel’s largest
The Gillette Marathon in Tel Aviv is on its way to breaking a record as the largest in the country’s history, after some 15,000 runners registered to participate in the annual event. With weeks remaining before registration closes, organizers said they were expecting over 25,000 participants to take part in the race.
Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai described the race as “the largest and most professional that has ever been organized in Israel.” Participating runners, he added, will enjoy the track that passes restored sites in the city, such as Hatahana – the old Jaffa railway station – and Habimah National Theater. This year’s marathon, scheduled for March 30, will include seven heats for runners with various levels of endurance and difficulty, including an amateur heat on a 4.2-kilometer path. The other tracks include the standard marathon distance, 42.195 km., a 21-km. half marathon, a 10-km. urban run, a hand bicycle run for handicapped participants, and a half marathon for rollerbladers.
Participants can register at
Jaffa shop owner stabbed to death
A Jaffa market owner in his 40s was stabbed to death last week outside his store on Jerusalem Boulevard.
Magen David Adom paramedics attempted to resuscitate the man, but pronounced him dead at the scene.
The perpetrator managed to escape. Police were investigating the incident and searching for a suspect.
Tel Aviv extending Ben-Gurion median
The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality began working to renovate Ben-Gurion Boulevard between Malchei Israel and Shlomo Hamelech streets, adding new bike paths, pedestrian sidewalks and landscaping work. In the coming months, the median for pedestrians and bicyclists will be expanded eastward toward Rabin Square.
When completed, the changes will include new nonmotorized transportation lanes as part of the city’s push for sustainable transportation, a renovated statue on the boulevard, newly planted and rehabilitated trees, renovated drainage, water, sewage and lighting infrastructure, a repaved road, sidewalk and curbs, a new traffic-light system and new power lines.
The work, which the city said it expects to take six months, will be done between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Traffic will be allowed on the street during that time; work that requires closing the street to traffic will take place at night intermittently though out the six months.
Herzliya to kick off book-lending program in schools
The Herzliya Parent-Teacher Association called on school principals to kick off a book-lending project throughout the city’s schools this week. The PTA said the program was of paramount importance in promoting socioeconomic equality in the community.
According to the PTA, book-lending will significantly ease the financial burden on parents purchasing school books for their children, providing equal opportunities for all pupils. As part of the program, each pupil will have access to a basket of books at a value of NIS 280 for elementary and middle school pupils and NIS 320 for high school students.
Avi Benvenisti, head of the Herzliya Municipality’s Education Division, said that the city’s mayor had responded positively to the initiative “and instructed me to prepare a municipal plan to implement in cooperation with parents” to get the lending program started in the municipal education system, the Local website reported.
Gov’t approves Dead Sea rehabilitation budget
The government on Sunday approved the budgeting of NIS 845 million for rehabilitating the Dead Sea over the next five years.
The plan will include renovations to tourist infrastructure at the Hamei Zohar and Ein Bokek areas, as well as a number of locations that have been damaged by rising water in the Dead Sea’s southern basin in recent years (the largely disconnected northern basin is shrinking). The Tourism Ministry said the work would include rehabilitating the parks and nature areas that have been hurt by the changes in the water level.
Eilat operation removes abandoned fishing nets
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Underwater Observatory in Eilat removed 1,500 square meters of abandoned and dumped fishing nets from the waters off the country’s southernmost city in an operation last week. While fishing in the waters is permitted, abandoned nets are responsible for the deaths of protected fish and the accumulation of waste.
Officials and volunteer divers led the underwater cleaning operation, removing the old nets, fishing gear, buoys and other debris.
Ecologist Assaf Zvuluni of the INPA said that while “many of the nets were placed in the water in compliance with the law, after being abandoned they ceased to be used for fishing permitted species and remained in place.” When left in the water, he added, they cause unnecessary injury to those species.” The authority called on the public to report hazards in nature and wildlife reserves by calling *6911.
Inspectors destroy 50 kg. of unsafe meat in Ashkelon
The Ashkelon Municipal Department of Veterinary Inspection seized some 50 kilograms of uninspected meat intended for human consumption this week. The unsafe meat products were destroyed, and the owner of the vehicle in which they were found received a fine.
Ashkelon Municipal Veterinarian Dr. Gadi Sharvit called on city residents to be careful of meat products sold in local markets, saying they should ensure the meat is marketed with the appropriate certification and stamps, the Local website reported.
Illegal dumping earns driver NIS 3,000 fine
A truck driver caught illegally dumping building materials near Beersheba this week was ordered to pay a NIS 3,000 fine and to transfer the waste into a landfill, in an incident that showcased the results of increased environmental enforcement activities.
According to the Environmental Protection Ministry, illegal dumping is a serious cause of environmental damage and affects residents’ quality of life, the Local website reported.