IDF Goes Green in Bid to Protect Hermon Wildlife

Army to scale down activities in Hermon region in deference to nature preserve's flora and fauna.

Birds like the Syrian serin, its friend the finch, and other flora and fauna that are unique to Mount Hermon have enjoyed an extraordinary period of quiet.

In deference to the natural habitat, the army has decided to scale down its activities in the vicinity of the nature preserve in order to allow the various species to acclimate themselves to the summer season without interruption.

"This is a very significant step," said Aviad Belski, the Nature and Parks Authority's inspector in the Hermon region. The territory whose altitude is 1,800 meters above sea-level is a unique area."

"Spring is just ending now in these places, and the flowers no longer blossom and they start to dry up and spread their seeds," Belski said. "This is also a critical period for the animals. The reptiles, mammals, and birds who have come into this world now learn to manage on their own."

Israel Defense Forces Colonel Yehuda Yehohananov, the commander of the Hermon Brigade, views the army decision as necessary.

"We are a country that has an army and not vice versa," he said. "There's a situation on the mountain in which two parties claim the same turf - the army and the nature preserve - and there needs to be a partnership there. There are no unilateral steps."