Environmental Organizations and Government Ministers Called to End the Devastation of Arson Terror in Israel’s South

New York, NY. . .Statement by Arthur Stark, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:

Throughout the past 100 days Hamas launched countless flammable materials and explosives via kites, balloons, and other devices into Israeli territory. Hamas has taken children’s toys and used them to spark daily fires that have not only harmed Israeli residents but have burned thousands of acres of farmland, parks, and forests. Hamas has even used birds wrapped in flammable materials to ignite fires over the border. To date they have destroyed 32,000 dunams (7-8,000 acres) of land, the majority of which is in nature reserves and parks as well as 1,500 acres of productive farmland.

The damages of the arson terror are devastating to the economy, disruptive of life, and endangering the environment. This latest incarnation of the terrorist war being carried out by Hamas and other Iranian-backed groups in Gaza, has caused broad environmental damage, devastation to nature reserves and forests, serious air pollution, loss of life of wildlife species, millions in economic loss and more. Mr. Hoenlein and Mr. Stark said “These are acts of terror that must be condemned by all those who profess to care about the poisoning of the atmosphere and the destruction of the ecosystem, let alone peace in the region.”

We urge environmental organizations in the U.S and abroad as well as people of good will to join in condemning these acts of eco-terrorism. With every day that passes more children and families are inhaling the toxic smoke, more farmers are losing their crops, and more nature reserves are suffering irreversible destruction. We implore governments, officials, and opinion leaders to join us in making it a priority to end the arson and protect the lives of civilians, their homes and farms, and the productivity and protection of this precious resource. Failure to do so will assure that this new form of terrorism will be repeated elsewhere.

 

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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