Grounding Israel Electric

Electrocuted bird. [Photo: Yossi Eshbol]

In an effort to protect the 500 million birds that migrate through Israel twice each year, SPNI has launched a campaign against a 10km overhead electricity line across the Hula Valley.  

The planned aerial lines would bisect one of the world's most important migration routes, threatening the lives of the hundreds of species that fly through the area each year including the entire 50,000 strong population of Palearctic pelicans, 300,000 white storks, and thousands of rarer black storks. Overhead power lines are a proven threat to bird life. American research has shown that a kilometer of overhead power lines causes the death of around eighty large birds annually.

At a bottleneck of the world’s second largest flyway we expect casualties to be even higher.

Forming a coalition with the JNF-KKL and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, SPNI is calling on the Israel Electricity Company to bury the electricity cables underground where they cannot harm the avifauna. Since January the coalition has met monthly with the IEC to discuss the viability of burying the lines underground. A report comparing the costs of burying the lines underground as opposed to building them overhead is being prepared.

We are working in local communities and kibbutzim to educate residents about the threats the lines pose and to enlist their voices in the protest. As the protest continues SPNI, along with our partners, are planning to take the campaign to the national level.