Nature and Parks Authority head sacked
Eli Amitai was appointed to his position in 2002, when Tzachi Hanegbi was environment minister. The cabinet extended Amitai's tenure in 2007 on condition that he correct his ways.
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan has decided to fire the director-general of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA ) because of "fundamental flaws in his work."
Erdan intends to bring the dismissal of INPA director general Eli Amitai to the cabinet's approval on Sunday, following ongoing disputes between the Environment Ministry and the authority.
"Amitai is not doing his job properly, and the circumstances justify his dismissal in view of fundamental deficiencies and failures in his work," Erdan wrote in his proposal to the cabinet.
Environmental Protection Ministry officials cited as examples of these failures several structures INPA had built in parks and nature reserves over the past years that violated zoning laws, and private functions that INPA approved to be held in national parks in violation of regulations.
Amitai was appointed to his position in 2002, when Tzachi Hanegbi was environment minister. The cabinet extended Amitai's tenure in 2007 on condition that he correct his ways.
Despite warnings, INPA continued to violate zoning laws over the past three years and did not take adequate steps to correct previous problems, ministry officials said.
INPA said in response that during his term as director general "Amitai worked to the satisfaction of five ministers, and the authority had unprecedented achievements in preserving nature, heritage and scenery in Israel.
Amitai has espoused values of love for the land and man since his days as an IDF commander. Amitai first heard today, from various sources, about the minister's plan."
The INPA comptroller's follow-up report in 2009 said that most of the comptroller's recommendations had not been implemented at all or even partly. "Hundreds of illegally-built structures are still located on INPA sites," the report said.