The "funeral procession" was held in protest of the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs' decision on Sunday to reject the Dead Sea Protection and Rehabilitation Bill.
Dead Sea's 'funeral procession' (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Members of Friends of the Earth Middle East, who embarked on the funeral march dressed in black, say the bill is the Dead Sea's last hope and that the government's failure to support it deals a critical blow to the lake.
'With deep sorrow and profound grief we regret to inform you of the untimely demise of the scarce Dead Sea," the organization members wrote in an "obituary".
The bill, formulated by Adam Teva V'Din – Israel Union for Environmental Defense, was submitted by Knesset Members Dov Khenin (Hadash), who also took part in the "burial".
Mourners dressed in black (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"In order to take advantage of the minerals in the Dead Sea waters, the franchiser set up evaporation ponds on dozens of square kilometers, within the Dead Sea area, by building shoreline sections around them.
"In order to maintain production, the water level in the ponds must be raised, and this requires raising the shoreline sections from time to time.
"Over the years, the franchiser's work caused damage to the Dead Sea. The ongoing flooding of the southern lake on the one hand, and the dehydration of the northern lake on the other hand, cause a by-product in the form of salt to pile up at the bottom of the lake.
Billie Frenkel contributed to this report