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- Ministers want cellular antennas left on balconies
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- Jerusalem Conference 19 - 25 oktober 2010
Ministers want cellular antennas left on balconies
Thu., November 22, 2007
By Eran Gabay
Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra is still trying to reach an agreement with the cellular phone companies to allow antennas to be installed on residential balconies, even though the Knesset has approved regulations against such antennas. Ezra's attempts to act behind the Knesset's back were exposed by TheMarker (in Hebrew) on Sunday.
In light of the revelation, Ezra is trying to put the blame for circumventing the Knesset on Communications Minister Ariel Atias.
Three weeks have passed since the regulations applying to the Non-Ionizing Radiation Law were approved by the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, and the regulations have still not been officially published - and therefore have not taken effect.
It seems Ezra has decided to try to reach understandings with the cellular operators concerning antenna installations on residential balconies.
"The wording approved by the Knesset was different from what the Communications Minister agreed to and therefore the text was given to Atias for a new round of comments, as part of the legal requirement," Ezra said. "The Communications Minister has yet to respond officially, and as long as he has not approved it, it is impossible to publish the regulations."
Atias seems to be Ezra's partner in the attempt to reach an agreement with the cellular firms, which claimed that Atias had agreed the day before the committee voted that the restrictions would not be part of the regulations.
The restrictions on placing cellular antennas on balconies could have far-reaching consequences for the operators and could make it difficult for them to continue expanding their networks. Every antenna receives a permit for five years, after which the permits must be renewed. This means that antennas on balconies would have to be removed after five years.
MK Ofir Pines-Paz, chairman of the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, responded angrily to the attempt to reach an agreement with the cellular companies after the regulations were approved.
"I am dumbfounded and find it hard to believe that the government is acting in such a manner behind the Knesset's back while grossly deceiving the public. This is a scandal. I will initiate a special emergency session, possibly even this week, on the matter to decide how to proceed, and in the meantime I will not advance any bills or regulations [proposed by] the cabinet," he said.
"It is impossible to believe that after we voted on regulations with Ezra present and with his agreement, someone is still trying to apply economic and political pressure to hide the regulations away in a drawer.
Eli Richter's expert opinion wins in court
on iddd.de Mo, 25th Nov. 2007
Court rules in favor of soldier who developed cancer in the line of duty
By Zafrir Rinat
In a very rare move, a soldier who contracted cancer following exposure to radiation during military service was recognized as disabled by the Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court.
The court ruled in favor of the soldier, Rahamim Mehetu Gulo. Gulo was appealing the decision of the Israel Defense Forces, which had decided the radiation did not cause the Hodgkin's Disease he contracted during his service.
Gulo served as an electronics engineering technician in the Israel Air Force electronic warfare system. For 10 years, he operated a system that emits electromagnetic energy, among other tasks. He was also exposed to radiation from radioactive materials. Due to an equipment malfunction, at one point Gulo was exposed to higher than usual radiation, which he said caused his illness. After the incident Gulo and another soldier were sent for tests and were told everything was alright, and they returned to work.
In 2001, a lump was discovered in his chest that was diagnosed as Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He was treated with chemotherapy, recovered and continued to serve in the same place but with equipment that did not produce radiation. However, the cancer apparently has returned. Gulo was released from the army about three years ago.
Medical opinions for the army stated that nothing in the scientific literature proves there is a connection between Gulo's illness and exposure to radiation. Another expert for the army stated that the army committee set up to investigate the incident found that radiation had not reached dangerous levels during the malfunction.
However, Gulo's expert, Professor Eli Richter, said there very likely was a cause-and-effect relationship between the radiation exposure and the illness.
"The soldier was exposed to two types of dangerous radiation and was not necessarily protected from the exposure," Richter said. "The malfunction contributed greatly to his illness," Richter added.
Judge Ya'akov Ganan said the burden of proof that the radiation caused the illness should be eased, because this had been shown to be a reasonable possibility and often in such matters, there is "no choice but to invoke gut feelings."
The non-ionizing radiation law
Thu, 25 Oct 2007
The regulations of the non-ionizing radiation law in Israel were approved yesterday by the parliament. It's a significant step forward, the companies threat to appeal to the high court against the new law. No more antennas inside houses and balconies, people who measure radiation would have to inform on their relations with the cellular companies. See more: (Knesset = Israeli parliament) Knesset bans placing cellular antennas on residential buildings
By Zafrir Rinat, Haaretz Correspondent, and Eran Gabay, The Marker Correspondent
Cellular antennas will no longer be placed in living quarters, including balconies, the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee approved Wednesday, as part of a unanimous endorsement of the non-ionizing radiation regulations. The Non-Ionizing Radiation Law was introduced in 2005, and came into effect in January 2007, but the attached regulations were yet to be set.
The cellular companies claim the ban was an opportunistic move, but the Forum for Sane Cellular Consumption stresses that it was included in the Environment Ministry's first draft on the issue.
Committee chairman MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) categorically told the panel that unless the regulations ban the placing of antennas on balconies, he will not allow the vote. The regulations stipulate that in specific cases the environment minister can sanction the placing of antennas on rooftop balconies.
The regulations may bear severe ramification for the cellular companies, since antenna operation permits must be renewed every five years. Therefore, antennas which are currently placed on balconies would have to be relocated when their permits expire.
The Cellular Companies Forum issued an enraged comment: "This is the end of the cellular companies' ability to establish a cellular infrastructure in Israel. The new regulations pose enormous obstacles for Israel's cellular network. The result would be fewer antennas: radiation levels would rise and reception and other services would be severely affected. We are preparing for an all-out war against these regulations."
The regulations also stipulate that the radiation level standard will remain unchanged for now, and a mechanism to review radiation level standards periodically will be employed. In addition, the environment minister will be required to hold public hearings regarding cellular radiation issues. Finally, the regulations stipulate that a company that carries out radiation surveys and more than 20 percent of its income emanate from a cellular company would have to announce it publicly to boost transparency.
Four municipalities ban small size antennas Four big cities - Jerusalem, Raanana, Herzliya and Ashdod - have recently decided to ban further erection of small size antennas in their jurisdiction. The ban goes in line with the law that prohibits the construction of wireless stations that are bigger than 30X50X80cm without building permits.
It is expected that other cities will join the fight against the present process of setting up small cellular antennas. According to law, cellular firms can set up a small antenna, known as a "wireless access facility," without informing the public and without receiving a building permit.
The cities are now demanding companies apply for building permits for these antennas too. The use of such antennas has grown enormously, since permits for large antennas can be difficult to receive, and can take a long time.
While there are no comprehensive figures on the number of such small antennas, estimates suggest 800 antennas are in use, making up about 10 percent of all antennas in the country.
The Ministry for Environmental Protection has decided to fall in line with the cities' decisions. But the companies intend to fight, and are considering legal action, claiming that the installation of such antennas is legal, and cannot be prevented.
3G antennas in israel are illegal
8 October 2007
The Parliament meetings to produce the regulations for the non-ionizing law in Israel have started today, after the Env. ministry delayed the reguations months, they finaly proposed their version of the regulations, version which doesn't really say anything, besides a standard of 400000 mikroW/m2 (10% of the WHO standard), checking 10% of the antennas each year for radiation level etc...anyway none seem to like this version, including the parliament members who compose the Env. committee. and it will have to be changed.
It was revealed in the meeting that all the 3G antennas in Israel are not legal. This is because the original 2002 law, does not include the 3G ferquencies. The Env ministry wants to erect antennas on schools and kindergarden with the claim that the distance from antennas doesn't matter only the power, and the power is lower the more antennas there are, and since all children talk on the phone we need to behave by precautionary principle - the more antennas, the less radiation to the ear.
And those who are in the building under the antennas are safe. (Are other countries as mad as us?) The ministry of Health said with regard to the study from Weizmann Institue as well as former studies by prof. Korenstein (DNA damage athermal) and Dr. Schachter (cataract athermal) that they go into the collection of the other studies and the WHO will process them, since the health ministry has no ability to process the studies they wait for the WHO's decisions.
The Env. ministry said with regard to the fact that the WHO standard is updated to 1998, that the WHO does every year a new evaluation to check whether the standard should be changed.
The non-ionizing law in Israel entered into effect in January 2007.
11 May 2007
Or so it was supposed to be, but it isn't.
The law is in fact not yet in operation because of the section of removing antennas from sensitive places.
This removal of antennas and keeping them further away, will cost about 900 million shekels. The controversy between the ministries of communication and environment is about who will fund removal / moving the antennas.
The chairman of the parliament committee of environment, Ofir Pines, considers to apply to the high court and to the state comptroller. Pines and the committee were supposed to approve clauses of the law (like distances and all the small details which are the most important) but the clauses were not sent to the committee although Pines asked them for more than half a year from the ministries of communication and environment.
The committee was supposed to approve the clauses before January and since it didn't, the law has not entered into effect by the government. A representative of the communication ministry said that the law will have an effect also on the prices of electricity. Pines will try another thing- to file the clauses to the parliament for approval as a bill, hoping that this step will accelerate the displacement of the antennas.
This law forces every new installation that emits non-ionizing radiation, to receive a permission first from the ministry of environment. The permission is supposed to be based on the level of radiation that is emitted and if the installation does not stand in the radiation levels, then it is a criminal responsibility and no one wants to take this responsibility, especially because one thing was "forgotten" in this law: the level of radiation is not stated in the law.
The power company does not want to expose its workers to criminal lawsuits and the private sector claims that the ministry of environment has prepared a non practical law because no one knows the levels of radiation that enable obeying to the law.
The result is that many projects are now posponed and this trend will continue and the cost will be billions of shekels, the projects are posponed because people don't want to take the chance about the radiation levels.
This law was rolling for about 8 years and the power company succeeded in delaying it, but now the law is not clear and Dr. Stilian Galberg from the ministry of environment said that he gave up to the power company and instead of asking them to stand in radiation level he only asks to sign that they will do the maximum they can to reduce the radiation level. "Instead of setting low radiation levels like in Europe, for example, we were more flexible" he said. (The marker 6.5.07)