In win for activists, area marked for construction to become national park

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

A years-long campaign to stop construction on the hills south of the city of Modiin in central Israel concludes with success as a subcommittee of the National Planning rules that the area will instead be turned into a national park.

The planning council had already recommended delaying the building plans, pushed by the Housing and Construction Ministry, at least until all housing plans within the existing city had been implemented, and until completion of an updated national masterplan for building, development and preservation.

On Tuesday, the Society for the Protection of Nature, which helped to lead the campaign to preserve the hills, praises National Planning Council Director Dalit Zilber for having convinced the various organizations involved to back the creation of a national park.

The SPNI describes the area as encompassing a rare habitat of herbaceous shrubland at the meeting point between the Samarian hills and the foothills that lead down to the coastal plain.

An area south of Modiin will become a national park, in a win for environmental activists who opposed construction there (Dov Greenblat)
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