City Notes: Nature festival kicks off in Ramot Menashe Park

Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund invites nature lovers to month-long nature festival.

Ramot Menashe Park 370 (photo credit: Courtesy JNF-KKL)
Ramot Menashe Park 370
(photo credit: Courtesy JNF-KKL)
Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund launches a month-long nature festival this weekend, inviting nature lovers to head to Ramot Menashe Park for free guided tours of the biospheric park, in a joint initiative with the Megiddo Regional Council. The festival will run for four consecutive weekends on Fridays and Saturdays, and a number of information stations will be open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on those days. Tours begin near the regional auditorium in Kibbutz Ein Shofet at 10 a.m., 12 noon and 2 p.m. and include a hike to the Ochber Scenic Lookout.
Suspect in Ibillin murder confesses to police
The suspect in the murder of a 19-year-old in Ibillin confessed to police last weekend.
The suspect said that the victim and his brother had been making noise in the street below his house and, during an argument that broke out between them, he fired several bullets in their direction and fled.
Kindergarten teacher finds explosive materials in sandbox
A kindergarten teacher in Nahariya found several suspicious items in a sandbox on Sunday. Police were called to the scene and upon examining the objects they discovered that they were materials used for assembling explosives. The items were sent to a forensic laboratory and police were investigating the incident.
Sudanese refugee community hosts cultural event
The Sudanese refugee community was set to host a culture day in Tel Aviv on Friday and invited all members of the public to attend. Event organizers said that over the past few months, more than 100 representatives of the community had been preparing for the day in order to share their cultural backgrounds and experiences as refugees and asylumseekers in Israel. Music, dance and theater of various Sudanese traditional cultures were to feature at the event, scheduled for 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the Goren Goldstein Country Club in the Kiryat Shalom neighborhood.
Green project produces wall of bottles at retirement home
Elderly residents of the Ahuzat Poleg assisted living facility in Tel Yitzhak recently completed the building of a large and artistic wall made entirely from bottles. The wall is 12 meters long and 2.5 meters high, made out of 3,500 empty bottles. The wall of bottles is part of an environmental project at Ahuzat Poleg. As part of the green program, a special irrigation system was set up through which gray water is filtered by vegetation.
Korean delegation visits Israel in bid to boost tourism
A delegation of senior representatives of Korea’s tourism industry visited Israel last week in a bid to increase public awareness of the country as an enticing tourist destination. Their trip coincided with the annual International Mediterranean Tourism Market represented by 30 countries at the Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center in Tel Aviv.
Korean Ambassador to Israel Kim Il-soo hosted an event for senior embassy staff and representatives of the Israeli and Korean tourism industries. The meeting focused on ways to increase the flow of tourists between the two countries. The ambassador stressed that while there is very close Israeli-Korean cooperation in areas such as hi-tech, strategy and trade, in terms of tourism “Korea is at the very bottom of public awareness.” He also noted that the majority of Koreans are pro-Israel.
The number of tourists that visit Israel from Korea is larger than from any other Asian country. In 2012, some 40,000 Korean tourists visited Israel, while just over 12,000 Israeli tourists vacationed in Korea. An embassy spokesman emphasized that many South Koreans identify with the history of Israel and that the bookshelves of numerous family homes hold a translation of the Talmud.
Kim expressed hope that the tourism fair, where Korea shared a stall with Korean Airlines, would enable the Israeli public and professionals in the tourism industry to deepen their familiarity with Korea. He said he hoped they would discover that “it is not only a country that produces sophisticated cell phones and cars, but also a country that offers a rich culture, that combines old and new, traditional and modern alongside nature reserves, peaceful islands, exotic cuisine and a rich history.”
Beduin and Jewish kids show Beitar how it’s done
In the shadow of recent racist and violent actions perpetrated by Beitar Jerusalem soccer team fans over the signing of two Muslim players to the team, Jewish and Beduin children in the South showed the adults how it’s done with a “Soccer for All” tournament last weekend.
The tournament was held at the Yeroham Municipality Stadium and brought together 10- to 12-year-olds from schools in Beersheba, Kuseifa, Dimona, Rahat, Yeroham and Shakib al-Salam.
The League of Neighborhoods and the New Israel Fund headed the initiative, which was attended by MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) and director-general of the Israel Football Association Uri Shilo. Yeroham Mayor Michael Bitton and Osman Abu Ajaj of the Authority for the Regulation of Beduin Settlement in the Negev were also involved in the event and spoke to the participants about tolerance and respect for others on the soccer field.
The League of Neighborhoods was founded four years ago by student volunteers in Jerusalem, and this is the first year that it has expanded its project to include children in the Negev and the Center. The New Israel Fund expressed excitement over the development of the project, which it said “fosters and promotes values of living in cooperation and tolerance with Jews, Arabs and other sectors of society.”
Minefield clearance operation begins in Eilat
Defense Ministry employees began on Monday to clear minefields in Eilat in an operation that was expected to last several weeks. Over those weeks, residents of the area can expect to hear the sounds of explosions on some days. All the areas where work is taking place are fenced, marked and under military order, which will be supervised and enforced by the Eilat District Police. The public is asked not to approach these areas.
Valentine’s Day event to raise awareness of violence against women
An annual global event called “One Billion Rising” to raise awareness of violence against women was set to be held on Valentine’s Day in Tel Aviv. Every year, millions of women take to the streets worldwide on this day to march, dance and “rise up” for a safer world for all women. In Tel Aviv, the use of pepper spray was to be promoted as a means of defense for women following repeated reports from homeless women and prostitutes in south Tel Aviv of cases of rape and violence that they experience daily.
Sharon Malki, one of the initiators of Tel Aviv event, said that years of neglect by the government and municipality have led the neighborhoods of south Tel Aviv to become dangerous places in general and for women in particular. “The solution to changing this situation is an investment by the municipality and government,” she asserted. Organizers stressed that pepper spray is not a solution to the problem but a temporary and immediate tool that women living in the neglected peripheries of the city can use.
Local and international artists were due to participate in the event at the Naim studio on 48 Salame Street in Tel Aviv’s Florentin neighborhood. The schedule for the evening included dance performances, exhibits and speeches by women who have survived living on the streets.
“All the works to be presented in the evening have been selected with sensitivity and correspond in various ways with the issue of violence. Dance enhances the ties between the different dimensions of the evening,” said event organizer Ella Ben-Aharon. She added that the human body was at the center of the event – “We have chosen to celebrate and empower it.”
The program was scheduled to start at 9 p.m. and was expected to continue into the late hours of the night. The event is one of many others taking place across the country and the world to mark One Billion Rising against violence against women.