Israel Uses Palestinian Land for Treatment of Toxic and Other Waste
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
A new report by B’Tselem is titled “Made in Israel: Exploiting Palestinian Land for Treatment of Israeli Waste,” saying:
Israel’s “resource consumption per capita is high and it generates waste accordingly.” Most of its waste disposal occurs in Occupied Palestine, not where it’s generated.
“Abusing its status as an occupying power, Israel has set out less stringent regulations in industrial zones in settlements and even offers financial incentives such as tax breaks and government subsidies,” B’Tselem explained, adding”
“This policy has made it more profitable to build and operate waste treatment facilities in the West Bank than inside Israel” – including disposal of hazardous waste, Palestinian areas transformed into toxic environments.
Four of five West Bank waste treatment facilities process infectious and other medical waste, oil and solvents, metals, batteries, electronic byproducts, and sewage sludge.
West Bank waste disposal regulatory standards are far less stringent than in Israel. “(P)olluting plants in the industrial zones of settlements are subject to virtually no restrictions,” said B’Tselem.
They’re not required to report information on the hazards these operations pose for area residents. Israel’s Jerusalem district environmental protection ministry director Shoni Goldberg admitted “(t)here are certainly wastes, especially hazardous waste and expensive waste, that Israelis transfer to the West Bank to get rid of.”
International standards address the issue of transferring waste from one sovereign state to another. Transferring it to occupied territory is another matter entirely, Palestinians at the mercy of a ruthless occupier, having no say over policies affecting their lives and welfare.
They have no information on what toxic wastes are disposed of on their land, or hazards they face.
B’Tselem: “Any transfer of waste to the West Bank is a breach of international law which Israel is duty-bound to uphold.”
“The provisions of international law stipulate that an occupied territory or its resources may not be used for the benefit of the occupying power’s own needs or economic development.”
“(T)he occupying power is responsible for ensuring public health and hygiene in the occupied territory and must provide (its) residents…with an adequate standard of living, including ‘the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ “
Israel consistently and flagrantly breaches international law. Exposing Palestinians to hazardous pollutants is one of numerous ways their lives and welfare are harmed, their fundamental rights ignored – the world community largely silent about how grievously they’re abused, one-sidedly supporting Israel, failing to hold it accountable for its high crimes.
Concerned only about Jews, largely privileged ones, Israel treats hazardous and other waste in the West Bank, “ignor(ing) its legal and moral obligations toward the Palestinian population there,” B’Tselem stressed, adding:
“Israel has turned the West Bank into a sacrifice zone, exploiting and harming the environment at the expense of the Palestinian residents, who are completely excluded from the decision-making process.”
Occupied Palestinians have been grievously abused for the past half century, exposing them to toxic waste one of numerous examples.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”