Industry in Administered Areas Poses Ecological Dangers

The chairman of the Knesset’s ecology committee has complained that industrial development in the administered territories is threatening serious environmental damage. Yosef Tamir, expressing his concern in a letter to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, charged that industrial development in the Golan Heights has been undertaken without expert opinion on the environmental impact in the heights and on Lake Kinneret in Upper Galilee. He also complained of air pollution by military vehicles with faulty exhaust systems.

Tamir disclosed that Dayan promised in a reply to his letter to take up the matter of vehicular pollution with the Chief of Staff but said the other problems were the responsibility of the regular government departments. Tamir had expressed concern about a huge formica plant being planned near Hebron with no study of its possible ecological impact, and about the rise in the number of stone quarries on the West Bank from 150 to 500 in the past five years.

Four engineering professors from the Haifa Technion and the Nahal Sorek atomic research laboratory agreed at a meeting of the ecology committee Monday that anti-pollution laws would never be effective until they were the responsibility of one department instead of 14 ministries.

Leon Dultzin, Treasurer of the Jewish Agency, reported in Haifa that 23,000 Jewish immigrants have arrived in Israel from the Soviet Union so far this year and that a total of between 25-30,000 is expected by the end of the year. Dultzin said that this was double the number of Soviet Jewish emigres who arrived last year, predicted that some 50-60,000 Jews will immigrate to Israel from the USSR in 1973, and said that about 120,000 Soviet Jews have applied for emigration visas. Dultzin noted that the influx of Jews from Russia this year brought total immigration figures up to expectations by off-setting a 20 percent drop in immigration from Western countries, notably the US, Britain and France. He said there was an increase in immigration from Latin America this year.

CORRECTION: The joint conference of the WZO and WJC will be in Lima, not Buenos Aires.

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