Hundreds of Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef residents demonstrated
against the erection of a high-power Cellcom antenna near
residential buildings on Sederot Nachal Hakishon. Police used
force against the demonstrators and even arrested four, who
were kept in detention for several hours.
When local residents learned of Cellcom's intentions to erect
the cellular antenna atop a 90-foot electrical pole nearby
they decided to put a stop to the company's plans since
numerous studies show exposure to radiation from such
antennas poses a health hazard.
"Doesn't our opinion count?" demanded one local resident who
complained neither Cellcom nor the municipality notified the
public before beginning work. "Can the municipality make such
decisions without hearing what residents have to say?"
During the course of the demonstration the moro
d'asro, HaRav Shlomo Zalman Perlstein, arrived at the
site to try to persuade the work supervisors to halt the
erection of the antenna. At a meeting with Cellcom a company
worker showed disrespect toward the Moro D'Asro,
saying, "We have licenses and we will erect the antenna in
spite of residents' opposition."
Community activists, together with City Councilor Rabbi Moshe
Montag, tried to persuade Cellcom heads to stop work
immediately and HaRav Perlstein even spoke with company CEO,
David Laron, who promised to look into the matter.
According to a statement from the Forum of Cellular
Companies, "The transmission site located on Sederot Nachal
Kishon in Ramat Beit Shemesh received all of the permits
required by law, including a permit from the Environmental
Ministry guaranteeing its operation is safe. All transmission
sites located in Israel meet the strict safety standards
adopted by the World Health Society and operate in accordance
with the demands of the Environmental Ministry. Before the
erection of any cellular transmitting site theoretical
testing is conducted by an independent testing team
authorized to do so."