Israeli Watchdog Intervenes Over Emptying Haifa Ammonia Tank

Stops environment ministry director-general from dealing with problem due to conflict of interest

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The ammonia tank in Haifa.
The ammonia tank in Haifa.Credit: Hagai Frid

The Environmental Protection Ministry’s director general, Yisrael Danziger, was prohibited Thursday from dealing with the Haifa Chemicals ammonia tank due to a possible conflict of interests, following the state comptroller’s intervention.

Danziger, who was appointed by former Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay, has been acting to help Haifa Chemicals empty the ammonia tank and spearheaded the alternative to bring ammonia by ships.

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira found that Danziger was forbidden to deal with issues related to Israel Chemicals under a conflict of interests agreement, due to his friendship with the company’s deputy director for financial affairs. Both Haifa Chemicals and Israel Chemicals are involved in the fertilizers industry and any decision concerning the former affects some of the latter’s facilities.

At the comptroller’s office’s request, the Justice Ministry told Danziger he must stop dealing with the ammonia tank.