Letter: Towns need their own forests

Sir, Rob Kent observes (15 July) that Naomi Cohen of the Jewish National Fund neglected to mention environmentally hostile activities in the Palestinian Territories. Mr Kent also left a good deal unsaid.

From June 1988 when the PLO declared an "Arson Day", calling on its supporters to set fire to Israeli farmland and forest, there was widespread devastation to woodlands. In 1992 over 150,000 trees in the Judaean hills were torched, and in the Carmel Nature Reserve animals such as gazelles and antelopes were trapped when the whole area was set on fire.

Israel's response was to plant more than 3 million saplings to replace the dead trees and to afforest new areas. The Holy Land has been ravaged by wars and laid waste by neglect over millennia. Let us hope that the future holds a peace which will allow the land to flourish and will bring prosperity to all its inhabitants.


UK Member, Society of the Protection of Nature in Israel

London NW11