Israeli greens are celebrating two victories after the Israel Union of Environmental Defense (IUED), which is supported by NIF through the Green Environment Fund (GEF), successfully petitioned the courts.
The Tel Aviv District Court suspended planning for a huge new neighborhood for 100,000 residents in Ramat Hasharon, north of Tel Aviv, until a comprehensive environmental risk survey has been conducted. IUED claimed that Israel Military Industries (IMI), which operated for decades on the land slated for the new housing, contaminated the soil and groundwater with toxic heavy metals and carcinogenic chemicals.
If the land is deemed to be a health hazard, IUED will demand that the government, which owns IMI, undertake the cleanup of the contaminated land. IUED has also proposed new legislation, which will be submitted to the Knesset, regulating how contaminated sites are cleaned up.
IUED also won a ruling in the Haifa Administrative Court against the construction of two gas stations, which would have spoiled an area of beauty and historic significance near Binyamina, south of Haifa.