The majority of Israel's open spaces and coastline are under the defense establishment's control, a Society for Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) report suggests. SPNI officials appeared before the Knesset's Finance Committee recently and revealed that the Israel Defense Forces' fire practice areas amount to 16% of the coastline, and as such, the public cannot access them, nor does it have any say – environmental or otherwise – on their use. While the military's presence protects the beaches from falling prey to industrial or construction projects, the majority of its activities are not conducive to environmental protection, mostly due to the presence of heavy machinery and vehicles, and the use of munitions and sometimes hazardous materials. In red: IDF controlled areas According to SPNI data, IDF-controlled areas amount to 35% of Israel's entire area, spanning 1.85 million acres out of 5.2 million acres. The IDF controls land throughout the country, including in the Golan Heights, the West Bank, central Israel, across the coastline and mainly in the Negev – two-thirds of which are used by the military. The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel asked the Knesset's Finance Committee to require the defense establishment to ensure environmental protection in these areas as a precondition to any additional budget. Nir Papai, head of preservation for SPNI, said that "considering the implications of the defense establishment being a major land consumer, we feel that implementing various environmental policies on this land will have a considerable contribution to environmental protection in Israel." Map courtesy of Dr. Amiram Oren and Rafi Regev's book, "A Land in Khaki – The Geographic Dimension of Defense in Israel"