B’Tselem: Israel Sewage Sent to Palestine (VIDEO)

Israeli waste in the occupied West Bank. (Photo via Aljazeera)

B’Tselem research has found that there are at least fifteen Israeli waste treatment facilities in the West Bank. Most of the waste they process is produced in Israel.

“Six of the facilities handle hazardous waste which requires special processes and regulatory supervision due to the dangers it poses,” the report revealed.

This report focuses on five waste treatment facilities operating in the West Bank: four plants which process hazardous waste and dangerous substances produced in Israel – including infectious medical waste, used oils and solvents, metals, batteries and electronic industry byproducts – and one which processes sewage sludge.

The findings presented in the report are based on the information available on the types of waste these facilities receive and the potential risks the plants’ operations pose.

“Israel regards the facilities built in the West Bank as part of its local waste management system, yet it applies less rigorous regulatory standards there than it does inside its own territory,” the report noted.

“Whereas polluting plants located within Israel are subject to progressive air pollution control legislation, polluting plants in the industrial zones of settlements are subject to virtually no restrictions,’ the report added.

International standards in this field address the transfer of waste from the territory of one sovereign state to another. However, transferring waste into an occupied territory is a far graver issue, as residents of an occupied territory cannot oppose the decisions of the occupying power, and are entirely at its mercy.

The Palestinian residents of the West Bank are a population under military rule. As such, they were never asked – to say nothing of having agreed – to take in hazardous waste. Prior informed consent is not even an option in their case.

They have no influence over what types of plants operate in settlements’ industrial zones, or the legislation that determines what environmental rules apply there. They have no access to information about what goes on in these plants, whether any accidents have occurred, or what risks they pose to water sources, air quality and local residents’ health.

“Waste treatment in the West Bank is simply one more facet of the exploitative policy Israel has practiced consistently for fifty years now, using Palestinian space and people to further its own interests,” B’Tselem continued.

“As part of this policy, Israel treats the West Bank – and particularly Area C, where it retained full control under the Oslo Accords – as an area meant to serve its needs exclusively, as if it were its sovereign territory,” B’Tselem concluded.

(B’Tselem, PC, Social Media)

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