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Sunday, December 5, 2010
TOURISM MINISTRY AND KKL-JNF USA HAVE BEGUN TO WORK TOWARDS REHABILITATING THE FORESTS IN THE NORTH VIA THE JEWISH AND EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES

Jerusalem, 5 December 2010

TOURISM MINISTRY AND KKL-JNF USA HAVE BEGUN TO WORK TOWARDS REHABILITATING
THE FORESTS IN THE NORTH VIA THE JEWISH AND EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN
COMMUNITIES

MINISTER OF TOURISM, STAS MISEZHNIKOV:
"THE CARMEL FOREST AREA SHOULD BE DECLARED A DISASTER AREA, THEREBY ENSURING
SWIFT DAMAGE ASSESSMENT AND COMPENSATION PAYMENTS TO THE PRIVATE AND
BUSINESS SECTORS WITHOUT DELAY.”

Lydia Weitzman, Foreign Press Adviser to the Ministry of Tourism
Tel: 052 3584395 Email: tourism.gov.il@gmail.com
www.tourism.gov.il

In a special emergency meeting held today, Sunday 5.12.10 in the Ministry of
Tourism in cooperation with representatives of the KKL-JNF USA, it was
decided to embark on a wide-ranging joint operation to raise funds among the
American Jewish community and the thousands of American Evangelical
Christian communities for the rehabilitation of Carmel forest region,
destroyed during the forest fire that has raged there in recent days.

In light of the severe disaster that has struck the State of Israel, the
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov instructed the ministry’s representatives
in North America to increase joint marketing activities and raise money
among the various communities to fund the planting of as many trees as
possible, as part of the rehabilitation activities following the disaster.
For this purpose, the minister ordered that any necessary assistance be
provided in order to accelerate the project. Minister Misezhnikov added
that, based on results, he will examine the possibility of extending this
model to other markets around the world. In addition, the Tourism Minister
spoke this morning with KKL-JNF Chairman Effie Stenzler and it was agreed
that these activities would be undertaken with full cooperation of the
organization.

Representatives of the Ministry of Tourism KKL-JNF USA have begun to work
together to recruit leaders and heads of the U.S. Jewish and Evangelical
Christian communities for the rehabilitation of the Carmel forest region.
Already in the coming days, fundraising campaigns aimed at forest
restoration will begin among the American Jewish and Evangelical Christian
communities with a view to planting trees to rehabilitate the Carmel forest
area during the New Year for Trees (Tu Bishvat) which falls on 20.1.11.

At this morning’s cabinet meeting, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov said:
“The Carmel forest area should be declared a disaster area, thereby ensuring
swift damage assessment and compensation payments to the private and
business sectors without delay.”

The Tourism Ministry and KKL-JNF USA have recently begun to cooperate in
order to promote incoming environmental tourism and religious tourism -
Jewish and Evangelical Christian, which includes the experience of planting
trees throughout the country. In this framework, thousands of priests from
large churches across North America, among others, have been recruited to
participate in tree-planting campaigns.

During this difficult time and in light of the dimensions of the terrible
tragedy, the Tourism Ministry is working, in coordination with the tourism
industry, to assist rescue personnel, residents and local authorities, and
provide information to the hundreds of thousands of tourists currently in
Israel. To this end, the Tourism Ministry has opened a situation room
staffed by three ministry employees, which is compiling an inventory of
rooms available for evacuees by conferring with hotels, youth hostels and
zimmerim (B&B) across the country. The telephone number of the situation
room - 02-6664349

For more information, please contact Tourism Minister Misezhnikov's Media
Adviser, Amnon Liberman, at 050-6214210.

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