Photo Credit: Ilan Malester, Ministry of Environmental Protection
The ammonia tank in Haifa.

The 12,000-ton ammonia tank in Haifa Bay is finally set to close after countless battles over the facility.

A temporary closure order was issued Wednesday by Haifa Local Affairs Justice Sigalit Gatz-Ofir, until a more permanent resolution to the dilemma of where to locate the facility can be found.

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The municipality had requested the closure in a request to the court following publication of a report that said a missile strike on the tank could result in the deaths of thousands.

Professor Ehud Keinan of the Technion Institute of Technology and a team of researchers also pointed out that an attack on vessels delivering supplies to the tank could kill “numbers that are inconceivable in any apocalyptic scenario ever described by the security establishment of the State of Israel.”

Hezbollah terrorist secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah threatened in February 2016 to attack the facility, noting that such a strike would accomplish all of the goals of his Iranian-backed group in one attack.

Keinan agreed: “The Hezbollah secretary-general was absolutely right about the inherent destructive potential of the container, and more importantly, of the ammonia ship,” he wrote.

For years, environmentalists and their political backers have been battling for closure of the tank, and Wednesday’s decision was welcomed by many.

Knesset Haifa Bay Caucus Chairwoman MK Yael Cohen Paran praised the decision, saying she wished the order were permanent, rather than temporary and noted “800,000 people are under a daily threat in the bay. It’s about time for a change.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.