Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Outcry over privatised beaches in Israel

    The Israeli public and tourists are barred from more than a fifth of Israel's beachfront, according to an official report released recently.

    The Israel Nature and Parks Authority, a governmental agency, has found that some 10.3 per cent of the beachfront is closed due to army installations and a further 0.5 per cent is inaccessible for "security reasons". On top of that, 9.5 per cent is inaccessible because of civilian infrastructure.

    Environmental groups are outraged. "The beaches in Israel are natural resources and should be kept for the public," said Amit Bracha, executive director of the Israel Union for Environmental Defence. "We say it's a basic right to be able to access what is ours."

    Alon Tal, co-chairman of the Green Movement, said that the figures reflect an Israeli "obsession with the privatisation of public resources".

    In 2004, Israel passed the Protection of the Coastal Environment Law, which set out to "preserve the coastal environment and coastal sand for the public's benefit and enjoyment and for future generations".

    It specified that no building could take place within 300 metres of the coast. According to Dr Tal, a "somewhat lackadaisical implementation of the law" has contributed to the large proportion of beachfront that is inaccessible. The Ministry of Construction and Housing did not respond to a request to comment on this matter.

    As well as determining how much beachfront is inaccessible, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has calculated how much is in use for bathing, but only for those who can pay. Private beaches account for 1 per cent of the coastline, and a further 1.9 per cent is under control of local councils that charge for access.

    And while there are plans for the army to remove some installations, Mr Bracha said that he is concerned that the space will become pay-for beaches rather than free beaches. He said: "The fact that this is a country without much open space makes cost-free access to beaches a very important battle."

Israel

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...

Orlando Radice

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israel fire eyewitness: 'We were trying to out-...
Israel

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...

JC Reporter

Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...
Israel

Bibi faces probe over subs deal

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bibi faces probe over subs deal
Israel

Meet the rabbi that's making waves

Tim Marshall

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meet the rabbi that's making waves
Israel

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...

JC Reporter

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...
Israel

Israeli rabbis, Hamas founder call for peace

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Israeli rabbis, Hamas founder call for peace
Israel

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk
Israel

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective
Israel

Israeli rabbis in hot water

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Israeli rabbis in hot water