- Title: In Israel on Yom Kippur, low emissions on high holiday
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: RANTIS, WEST BANK (RECENT) (REUTERS) TEL AVIV AS SEEN FROM THE WEST BANK, AIRPLANE FLYING OVER TEL AVIV CITY, AS DUST FILL THE SKY RANTIS, WEST BANK (OCTOBER 09, 2019) (REUTERS) TEL AVIV AS SEEN FROM THE WEST BANK, CLEAR SKY TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VEHICLES DRIVING AT STREETS EXHAUST BLOWING FROM VEHICLES VEHICLES DRIVING AT HIGHWAY OF AYALON TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (OCTOBER 09, 2019) (REUTERS) HIGHWAY OF AYALON EMPTY DURING YOM KIPPUR TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) PROFESSOR PINHAS ALPERT, OF TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF GEOPHYSICS, POINTING AT TEL AVIV FACTORY IN TEL AVIV (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR PINHAS ALPERT, OF TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF GEOPHYSICS, SAYING: "On Yom Kippur, it is really, really unique in the whole world that we have very little amount of pollutants." VEHICLES AT STREET, TRAIN MOVING, BUILDINGS TRAIN ON RAILWAY PEOPLE WAITING FOR THE TRAIN SCREEN SHOWING THE TIMINGS OF THE TRAIN TRIPS PASSENGERS GETTING ON BOARD VARIOUS OF TRAIN MOVING TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (OCTOBER 09, 2019) (REUTERS) EMPTY HIGHWAY, TRAIN STATION EMPTY TRAIN STATION TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) PROFESSOR PINHAS ALPERT, AS SEA SEEN BEHIND HIM (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR PINHAS ALPERT, OF TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF GEOPHYSICS, SAYING: "It's easier to breathe, it is much better for people who suffer from polluted air, such as asthma and such as other diseases which affect our breath, our breathing, so there are also much less particles, polluted particles in the air." VEHICLES AT STREET PEOPLE CROSSING STREET VARIOUS OF EXHAUSTS OF VEHICLES, VEHICLES AT STREET (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROFESSOR PINHAS ALPERT, OF TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF GEOPHYSICS, SAYING: "It is quite a quick effect, but it is a very good example of what can be done to improve the air that we breathe throughout the year. Without actions we can do very significant change." HADERA, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SMOKE BILLOWING OVER FACTORY JERUSALEM (RECENT) (REUTERS) MAN ON MOTORBIKE, VEHICLES DRIVING LIGHT TRAIN MOVING, VEHICLES AT STREET SIGN READING IN ARABIC ENGLISH AND HEBREW 'OLD CITY' JERUSALEM (OCTOBER 09, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LIGHT TRAINS PARKED CEMENT ROADBLOCKS BLOCKING STREET MAN RIDING BIKE VARIOUS OF EMPTY STREETS MAN ON BIKE
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 15:41
- Keywords: Israel Yom Kippur environment
- Location: RANTIS, WEST BANK / TEL AVIV AND HADERA, ISRAEL / JERUSALEM
- City: RANTIS, WEST BANK / TEL AVIV AND HADERA, ISRAEL / JERUSALEM
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Pollution,Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0DM7GN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:As Israel's highways and city centres fell silent on Yom Kippur, environmentalists hailed the holiest day of the Jewish calendar as providing a brief but welcome respite from pollution.
The "Day of Atonement" - a period of fasting and prayer just after the Jewish New Year - is observed by Jews the world over but in Israel the country largely grinds to a halt.
It is a public holiday during which most Israeli Jews refrain from driving during the 25-hour holy period.
The decades-old traditional driving ban is not dictated by law, but observed out of deference for the holy day, which this year began at dusk on Tuesday and ends after dark on Wednesday.
Adults and children take advantage of the deserted highways to ride bicycles, scooters and skateboards without fear of being hit by cars or trams, even in major cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The change in behaviour reduces man-made emissions to the lowest level of the year, say scientists.
"On Yom Kippur it is really, really unique in the whole world that we have very little amount of pollutants," said Professor Pinhas Alpert, of Tel Aviv University's Department of Geophysics.
He singled out nitrogen oxide emissions in particular, collectively known as NOx, saying they fell "sometimes by a factor of 100" compared with normal days. There were also many fewer polluting particles in the air, he said.
The shutdown is not total. Power plants still operate, and police vehicles and ambulances patrol streets, usually flashing their lights to warn unsuspecting pedestrians.
And in many towns and villages populated by Israel's 21 percent Arab minority, life goes on as it does in East Jerusalem where businesses stay open and cars, buses and motorcycles move around in areas that are not blocked to traffic.
(Production Credit: Eli Berlzon, Rami Amichay, Corinna Kern, Ammar Awad, Stephen Farrell, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None