Municipal leaders in the Haifa Bay area have renewed pressure on the government to relocate a huge ammonia tank that they called a “mortal danger” to thousands of people.
Eight mayors from the northern region around Haifa wrote a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday urging him to expedite the transfer of the 12,000-ton container after the Environmental Protection Ministry admitted on Monday that its attempts to move it to the Negev had faltered, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Ministry said that the tender it had issued for the removal attracted no bidders. However , Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) pledged to do everything he could to transfer the tank to the sparsely populated location of Mishor Rotem in the Negev, as planned.
“The continued import of ammonia in a giant tank and the continued existence of the container in the Haifa Bay is a mortal danger to the lives of residents, a danger to the industrial area that is important to the state, a danger to the Haifa Port and a true danger of public and private property damage,” the mayors wrote.
“The container is not protected, it is exposed to earthquakes and missile attacks and serves as a strategic goal for Hezbollah,” they wrote. “We request your immediate intervention in closing the dangerous container and thereby preventing an impending disaster.”
Last February, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah threatened to target it and turn it into “an atomic bomb” against Israel.
With the support of environmental organization Zalul, the mayors of Haifa, Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Yam, Kiryat Tivon, Zvulun, Nesher and Kiryat Ata, signed the letter.