Halting Environmentally-Damaging Highway Construction

9 March 2023

Credit: mediaphoto.org

Following a petition by NIF grantees the Sheli Fund (Roots for a Green Environment), the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) and other partners, the Jerusalem District Court halted plans for construction of an interchange (the Ora Junction) in south Jerusalem on the grounds of its potential environmental damage. The judge reprimanded the various planning committees for not undertaking a survey to assess the environmental impact of the interchange.  

Environmental  organizations argued that by law it is not permissible to promote a project that includes cutting tunnels and paving roads in one of the most ecologically and historically sensitive areas of the country, without first conducting an environmental impact survey.

Judge Alexander Ron said, “The planners were aware of the fear of environmental damage and for reasons only they know, they avoided ordering an environmental survey.”