Save the Judean Desert
2007-03-12
MEDIA RELEASE

SAVE THE JUDEAN DESERT

March 12, 2007

On Monday, March 12, 2007 an event was organized by several environmental organizations against the proposed route of the Separation Barrier that is currently proposed to carve up a third of the Judean Desert around the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim.

The event was held on the "Good Samaritan Hill" (on the Jerusalem - Jericho road), 500 meters east of the settlement Kfar Adumim intersection, at 13:30.

"The proposed route of the Separation Barrier", says Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), "has little to do with the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim as it captures a third of this desert landscape and carves it up in such a manner that the ecological corridor for wildlife and Bedouin nomads is lost ".

An environmental survey was undertaken for FoEME on the issue of the Separation Barrier in the Judean Desert and it concludes that the proposed route will dissect these open spaces, preventing the movement of already endangered wildlife and biodiversity, which Israel committed to safeguard when it signed on to the 1992 UN Rio Convention.

During the event, a makeshift fence was erected with 2 camels standing on either side of it, illustrating even if in a small way, the anguish to be caused to wildlife and the Bedouin people by putting up a fence in the middle of their desert.

MK Dov Hanin, Head of the Environment and Social Committee in the Israeli Knesset spoke at the event, together with representatives from Friends of the Earth Middle East and the Society for the Protection of Nature.

Next Sunday, March 18, 2007, the Israeli High Court of Justice will hear the petition submitted against the Separation Barrier around Ma'aleh Adumim. Friends of the Earth Middle East has submitted a request to join the petition on ecological grounds.

We are calling on all those who fear for the well being of the Judean Desert and the Dead Sea Basin to raise their voices and sign on the petition listed on FoEME's website www.foeme.org

For more information, please call:
Mira Edelstein - 054-6392937
Ehud Uziel - 052-4606762