'Government Must Stop the Dead Sea From Sinking'

State comptroller slams government for years of inaction, particularly over sink holes along shoreline.

A report by the state comptroller rebuked the government for years of inaction on the declining water-level of the Dead Sea, particularly the sink holes that have appeared along the shoreline.

The comptroller also said the government ministries, particularly the Tourism Ministry, which is responsible for coordinating issues involving the Dead Sea, are responsible for taking necessary action before the situation becomes irreversible.

Despite cabinet decisions, the government does not yet have the engineering tools to evaluate where construction can be done along the Dead Sea's shore, as the National Infrastructure Ministry team dealing with the matter has not completed its work. Lack of standards has meant that planning institutions cannot decide to grant building permits or when to close areas where sink holes have appeared.

The Israel National Roads Company has dealt only partially with the danger of sink holes on the main road running parallel to the Dead Sea.

The region's local councils have not received responses from government ministries regarding insurance against sink hole related damage. The Finance Ministry requested information six years ago from the Tamar Regional Council as to damage it has incurred, but has yet to receive a response.