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Don’t fence it in

We object to fencing in of the Beit Zayit lake because it will damage public access, environmental values and the ecological corridor

Adam Teva V’Din objects to plans to fence in the only lake in the Jerusalem hills

The Beit Zayit lake on Nahal Sorek (the ‘Whistling Stream’) in the Jerusalem Hills is under the jurisdiction of the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. The area offers visitors a calm, green respite from the heat of the day and a host of other natural attractions.

Recently, Adam Teva V’Din has objected to plans to erect a perimeter fence around the lake for ‘public safety reasons’ which cite two drownings in the area (2014 and 2015).

Our argument against the proposal is that it will damage the public’s rights of access to this region of scenic and environmental values. Moreover, the construction of a fence will disrupt the continuity of the area as an ecological corridor, potentially fragmenting the passage for species that rely on the corridor for movement and habitat connectivity.

Strengthening oversight of natural places in the face of climate change

Eli Ben Ari, Adam Teva V’Din’s legal advisor notes that while the Beit Zayit ecological corridor is not yet protected in national and regional planning regulations, it is noted in National Master Plan 35. As such, the area’s existence and continuity are guaranteed. “But more needs to be done; Adam Teva V’Din is working to strengthen safeguarding of the Beit Zayit lake and similar places. The value of natural areas increases as Israelis feel the impact of the climate crisis; we need to act against any unnecessary erosion of the public’s right to natural open spaces.”

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The value of natural areas increases as Israelis feel the impact of the climate crisis

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