Jerusalem (Jul. 29)
The Jewish National Fund estimated today that close to 100,000 trees it planted in northern Israel were destroyed during the two weeks of warfare across the Israel-Lebanon border which ended with the cease-fire agreement last Friday. Moshe Rivlin, chairman of the JNF, made that report to the Executive of the World Zionist Organization. He said the JNF has begun replanting and refurbishing its extensive forests in Galilee.
According to Rivlin, the forests have more than ecological value. He said they prevented local Arabs from encroaching on State-owned land. “Ensuring Jewish ownership of the lands of the Galilee is one of the primary purposes of the JNF’s work,” he said.
Rivlin listed the JNF’s three top priorities for the current year: afforestation around Jerusalem from the city’s western environs to the Judaean desert in the east; forestry in the Negev to reclaim presently arid land; and infrastructure work at some 350 rural and urban settlements throughout the country.