web analytics
October 8, 2015 / 25 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Record-Breaking Haze to Stay the Week in Israel

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Israelis woke up Wednesday to Day 2 of the worst smoggy haze recorded during the month of September in Israel in the past 75 years. In fact, the level of pollution in the air registered at 140 times the “normal” level, according to Hebrew-language broadcast media on Tuesday.

Worse, locals are being warned it’s not going to get any better, at least until the weekend and possibly right into Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which starts Sunday night.

The heavy dust-sand-smog settled down on the Middle East early Tuesday morning and simply hasn’t budged, moving in from across the north in Iraq and Syria.

Satellite image of smog storm sweeping across Israel from the north, in Iraq and Syria.

Satellite image shows smog storm sweeping across Israel.

Usually sand storms in Israel are intense, but brief, coming in from the Egyptian Sahara in the south.

A warm current of air is complicating matters, stretching from Saudi Arabia to the eastern Mediterranean, colliding with this smog cloud and spiking temperatures over 100 degrees Farenheit according to meteorologists. Due to the lack of any strong winds, conditions are not likely to improve until next week.

The presence in the air of toxic particles and pollutants dragged along with the cloud and combined with the intense heat, are making it very difficult for many people to breathe.

Meteorologists have issued a heat warning for the entire country, lasting from 9 am to 9 pm on Wednesday. In particular, the valleys and eastern parts of the country were warned there are likely to be especially high temperatures.

Visibility throughout Israel had already dropped Tuesday to approximately a mile or less (just over a kilometer). Average visibility for buildings is generally eight to 10 kilometers. In the valley areas smog and fog can be especially dense, particularly at night. Drivers are warned to be on guard and to drive slowly with hazard lights through valleys with narrow or less-traveled roads.

Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry has ordered schools to cancel all outdoor activities and school trips. The ministry is also suggestion all class recess period be held indoors and all gym classes be held in closed gymnasiums.

Most Israelis already “know the drill” and upon rising Tuesday morning, took one look and closed all the windows in their homes to try and minimize the coating of dust and sand that inevitably creeps in, no matter what.

Israeli health officials are also advising anyone with heart and lung conditions, as well as anyone with breathing problems (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema, etc), pregnant women, the elderly and the very young to stay indoors as well.

Sand Storm Hits Israel, Dangerous Air Quality

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

The first thing most veteran Israelis did when they woke up this morning (Tues. Sept. 8) was to close all the windows in their homes.

A dangerous sand storm is sweeping through the region with a high concentration of breathable particles. A number of neighboring countries have already been hit, including Syria, where visibility dropped to almost zero on Monday.

The Environmental Protection Ministry warned that anyone suffering from heart or lung conditions as well as senior citizens, children and pregnant women should be cautious about physical activity outdoors. Students should avoid physical activity outside the classroom and all sports activities should be held indoors.

According to the ministry, this pollution is particularly dangerous and in severe cases – such as asthma, for instance – could be lethal.

The haze is predicted to continue to spread across Israel from the Golan Heights to Jerusalem and down into the Negev throughout the afternoon hours.

The tiny particles from the sand storm can make their way into the lungs, and into the bloodstream where oxygen is carried to the lungs and changed into carbon dioxide. This can lead to a number of different medical conditions, several of them deadly.

Knesset Approves Part of Natural Gas Framework Deal

Monday, September 7th, 2015

The Knesset approved part of the natural gas framework Monday by a 59-51 vote after two years of constant threats by natural gas companies to pull out of the development of off-shore energy fields.

However, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu postponed a vote on the critical part of the deal that gives the government full authority over contracts with the companies. Minister of Economy Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party, wants the authority in his hands.


Camel Caravan Stalls Chabad Rabbi at the Dead Sea

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Traffic horror stories in Israel are famous, and driving on highways in the Holy Land is reserved only for the brave at heart. It is well known that Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries are among the bravest rabbis in the world, of course.

Last week even Chabad of Dead Sea director Rabbi Shimon Elharar met his match, running into a massive “traffic jam” on the highway alongside the Dead Sea.

“It’s not only in Tel Aviv that one has to worry about getting stuck,” Elharar chuckled in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com.

“We were driving back from a Bat Mitzvah atop the cliff-top fortress at Masada,” said the rabbi, “and suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of a ‘traffic jam.’”

A massive camel herd simply strolled into the road, right in front of Elharar’s amazed eyes. The rabbi barely had time to hit the brakes, he said.

“God allowed those camels to pass me [on the road],” the emissary said with a laugh.

Elharar typically spends half of his day in his car, visiting Jews at locations from one end of the Dead Sea to the other.

Arab Demonstrates How Forest Fires are Started by Arson Terrorists

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Most media outlets feature videos on how to prepare gourmet meals or build your own dream house.

Here in the Middle East, if you know where to look, apparently one can also find footage on how to set your own forest fire.

Arson researchers have found quite a bit of evidence recently in forests and open areas throughout Israel that prove most of the recent fires that were so terribly destructive were the result of arson.

Although in many cases it was clear that the fires did not start as a result of travelers in the area, fire investigators found that difficult to prove, due to a lack of evidence.

But on Saturday night, the Hebrew-language 0404 news website published a helpful video shot by Palestinian Authority Arab photographer Jihad Qade, showing an Arab demonstrating how to set a forest fire on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Arson investigators are not always able to track down the evidence behind most of the fires that are set by such terrorists.

This video footage, however, together with some documentation by Arab media, shows the methods used to set some of these fires involves using a flame, an aerosol spray can and a spark plug.

The flame is then directed toward a tree or a bush of thorns, and soon it catches and begins to spread on its own.

In the above footage obtained by 0404, a fire is shown being lit by an Arab whose identity is concealed by a keffiyeh which covers his face as he stands in the open space next to a base in the Jerusalem area.

The goal of such activity is ominously clear: to burn and murder Jews.

Southern Israel Solar Field of 134 Acres Connected to Electric Grid

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A French national electric company subsidiary hooked up the 134-acre solar field in the Arava in southern Israel Wednesday, making the solar farm the largest in national electric grid.

Arava Power jointly owns the solar field with the French company, EDF Énergies Nouvelles Israel.

Planning for the solar field began six years ago, and constructing finally began seven months ago, more than year after financing was arranged.

The farm consists of 140,343 solar panels.

The French subsidiary in Israel also building another solar park and has wind power projects in the pipeline.

Solar energy provides only a tiny fraction of Israel’s electricity, but the long-term is that the sun will be the source for 27 percent of the country’s electric by 2050.

Firefighters Extinguish Blazes around Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Six firefighting aircraft and eight ground crews of firefighters were kept busy Sunday from the late afternoon into the evening hours battling blazes at locations in a long-distance ring all around Jerusalem.

The fires were burning in forests near Elon Moreh, Maale Adumim, Beit Shemesh and Gva’ot — each in a different direction around the capital.

Elon Moreh is located in Samaria, north of Jerusalem and Maale Adumim is an eastern suburb close to the capital, located in the desert hills. Beit Shemesh is a forested suburb just west of Jerusalem; and Gva’ot is in the westernmost area of the Gush Etzion bloc in Judea, not far from Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh, towards the central plains area called the “Shfela.” Dozens of families were evacuated in the Samaria Jewish community of Elon Moreh as the forest fire burned dangerously close to the houses in that area. In the other communities, the fires blazed farther away, with residents watching anxiously but fortunately not needing to leaving their homes.

By evening even the largest of the fires was under control, officials reported. It is not yet clear what started the rash of wildfires, although the weather has been exceptionally hot with extremely dry conditions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/firefighters-extinguish-blazes-around-jerusalem-judea-and-samaria/2015/07/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: