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November Newsletter – Supreme Court Ruling – Regavim defeats air pollution

After 3 years of fighting on behalf of the residents in the Northern Sharon/Shomron region to have illegal highly polluting charcoal kilns closed down, the Supreme Court last week ruled in Regavim's favor and ordered the Civil Administration to enforce the law and have them shut down.

Outside the Supreme Court building a protest was held by residents of Pardes Hanna, Karkur, Kibbutz Metzar and Mitpe Ilan. They demanded the Supreme Court take charge and finally order the illegal charcoal kilns of the Northern Shomron be closed down. Inside, infront of a packed court, Amir Fischer of Regavim, representing the local residents, again (after 3 years of hearings) described the terrible health situtation faced by the residents from the acrid poisonous smoke produced by the illegal charcoal kilns used to produce charcoal. Ministy of Health and Environment reports were presented describing the damage inflicted on the children of the area whose incidence of Asthma and other respiratory diseases is dramatically higher than the country average. 

On hand was Minister Gilad Erdan attested on Regavim's behalf pushing for the illegal kilns to be closed describing the phenomena as "chemical terror" against the residents!!

Stop work and closure orders have been previously given by the civil administration against the illegal kilns. However the charcoal kiln owners always rushed to file multiple petitions with the Supreme Court in which they claimed that closure of the charcoal kilns would harm their livelihoods. 

Leading the defense for the owners of the illegal charcoal kilns was none other than Michael Sfard, the so-called “human rights” attorney of choice for B’tselem, Peace Now and Yesh Din. Clearly showing us that some people’s human rights are higher than others. 

However this time justice was to prevail and after a long fought struggle the Judges determined that the kilns need to be shut down immediately.

The following day Regavim set off to the area of the charcoal kilns to ensure the judgment was being enforced……what we found was eye opening to say the least.