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Hamas tire-burning at Gaza security fence poses a potential ecological disaster

Readiness teams have been sent to the border with particle gauges and will run multiple models of particle dispersion based on factors such as weather and wind patterns.

Palestinian protesters burn tires near Ramallah in the West Bank during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, March 16, 2018. Photo by Flash90.
Palestinian protesters burn tires near Ramallah in the West Bank during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, March 16, 2018. Photo by Flash90.

Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry warned that Hamas’s planned burning of tens of thousands of car tires along the security fence between Gaza and Israel could have major environmental repercussions.

In an interview with Maariv, a representative of the environmental ministry said readiness teams have been sent to the border with particle gauges and will run multiple models of particle dispersion based on factors such as weather and wind patterns.

“We will monitor the weather forecast and run different models of particle dispersion,” said the representative. “As necessary, we can give instructions to the residents and order them to go indoors.”

Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories—the organization that coordinates with Gaza to bring supplies to the strip—penned a letter to the head of the World Health Organization on Wednesday, urging the body to take action to prevent an “ecological disaster” if Hamas burns the tires.

“The burning of tires in such a huge quantity will cause severe damage to the ecosystem in the area, will severely harm the life, the flora and health of the residents, and will add to the severe damage to the aquifer and lead to unprecedented air pollution,” wrote Mordechai.

“I call upon you, as the head of an international organization whose goal is to promote health, and protect natural and environmental resources, to do everything in your power to publicly warn against this ecological catastrophe and to protest Hamas’s irresponsible behavior.”

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