The new Bennet-Lapid government is promoting plans destructive to the environment that were set in motion by previous governments, a coalition of Israel’s major green groups stated on Wednesday, July 14, the Hebrew-language Communist website Zo Haderech reported.
The groups made the statement at a press conference following the government’s decision to extend the life of an Environmental Protection Ministry committee that is authorized to approve construction plans in open areas, after the NGOs had presented a plan that would curb the authority of this ministerial committee.
The organizations also criticized the government for not cancelling an agreement with the Trans-Israel Pipeline Co. to use the pipeline to channel oil from the Emirates through Israel. The environmental groups are also worried about potential decisions by the committee that approves construction plans in open areas. Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked aims to extend the life of the committee.
Former Hadash MK Dov Khenin, a leading member of the Communist Party of Israel, said in the press conference that the Economic Arrangements Law, which deals with outlays not included in the regular budget, did not mention the climate crisis. “There’s also no reference to the bizarre idea of turning Eilat into the Port of Eilat,” he said about the resort city in the south. Specifically, regarding the Trans-Israel Pipeline project in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates which would channel Emirate oil from Eilat at the northern end of the Red Sea to Ashkelon along the Mediterranean coast, Khenin called on cabinet members who are unhappy with the Economic Arrangements Law to stop this environmentally fraught plan.