10/16/2011 04:20

Commercial venues would would cause noise, light and air pollution, says Society for the Protection of Nature.
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Over 1,000 people attended a protest on Saturday at the Betzet Beach in the Western Galilee south of Rosh Hanikra, demanding the cancellation of plans to build three vacation villages and a commercial center on the coast, the Society for the Protection of Nature said.

The demonstration, which featured activities for children and their families, musical performances and rallies, was organized by SPNI and the Working Committee of Western Galilee residents.

Constructing these commercial venues would disrupt open space by fragmenting beach space and meanwhile would cause noise, light and air pollution, SPNI said.

“The construction plans at Betzet Beach are an example of the threatening wave of real-estate developers that is threatening Israeli beaches,” said MK Dov Henin (Hadash), who attended the protest, in a statement.

“Experiences teaches us that a public campaign can remove an evil decree, as evidenced by our success last year at Palmahim and at Nitzanim. Betzet Beach is not only dear to Western Galilee residents, but it is also important to all residents of Israeli, as one of the natural beaches open for public use.”

The demonstrators created a human wave that stretched a kilometer, “to illustrate the extent of the public protest against the establishment of vacation villages,” according to SPNI. Hundreds of residents signed a petition as well as letters to various government ministers protesting the planned construction.

Also instrumental in Saturday’s Betzet protest were the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam Teva V’Din), Citizens for the Environment, green NGO Three Sycamores, the Association for Quality of Life and Environment in Nahariya and Shatil: The New Israel’s Fund’s Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel.