RAMALLAH, January 23 (JMCC) - In another sign of Israel's security concerns about its border with Egypt, Haaretz reports that
officials have decided to reroute a road that runs along that border in the Negev.
The road is frequently closed due to security alerts, causing an inconvenience to travelers, say officials. They have decided to move the road 750 meters to the east to prevent the closures.
Under the council's plan, a 30-kilometer stretch of the road is to be diverted eastward, from Nitzana northward to the area known as the Shalom Salient, near the southern Gaza Strip.
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel filed an objection to the National Planning and Building Council against the approval of the plan, relying on the opinion of an expert on the region, Dr. Yaron Ziv of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Ziv says the region's dunes are the second most ecologically important area in the country after Mount Hermon in terms of the large number of rare animals that live there, and that paving the road will mean the loss of 21,000 dunams (about 520 acres ) of natural habitat.