As reports come in from the north on rockets falling in open territories, the country breathes a sigh of relief. But those open territories are actually forests and nature reserves across the north, which have so far absorbed hundreds of Katyusha rockets, severely damaging the health of the north's green countryside.
Another forest fire in the north caused by a rocket (Photo: JNF)
Over half a million trees have been burned to the ground due to Hizbullah rocket attacks on the north.
"It will take the north tens of years to bounce back and be a green pearl," said Galilee Area and Ramat Hagolan Jewish National Fund (JNF) Manager Michael Weinberger.
Thousands of dunam have gone up in flames (Photo: Ahiya Raved)
Since the start of fighting, over 15,000 dunam of nature reserves and 6,000 dunam of forests have been burned.
The north, symbolized by its luscious green color, has attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists, has now turned into a sooty color. "Whoever traveled in the past… and enjoyed the dominant green color, like in Switzerland, will now see black dominating the scenery," Weinberger said.
'Painful sight' - damage caused by the rockets (Photo: JNF)
JNF staff have been working since the start of fighting in increased shifts, and go out on daily tours along with thirty youths – all volunteers seeking to help.
"The general public thinks that when a rocket lands in open territory its as if nothing happened, but when a Katyusha rocket lands in open territory, another forest goes up in flames, and it hurts," said Weinberger.
"We have been living in the Galilee for decades and the color green is part of our lives – today everything is black and it will take many years to bring the green back into sight," he added.