Israel Continues to Use the West Bank as a Dumpsite for its Hazardous Wastes
By Firas Altaweel
hazardous Israel wastes in Qalqilya
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons’ Magazine:
Israeli industrial waste is being smuggled into the occupied territories of the West bank. This is a new front for the Qalqilya district. In 2015 they have enacted the environmental law act to prosecute those who aid in the unlawful transport and smuggling of trash into the territory.
Qalqilya: Illegal Waste dumping
The Environmental Regulation and Protection authority with the aid of the Tariff division in Qalqilya discovered at the beginning of February 2015 a truck leaving the settlement of Karne Shimron. The road is between the villages of Kufr Thuluth and Azoun. The authorities stopped the truck as it was leaving and interrogated the driver. He said he had been bribed to smuggle the waste out of the settlement. The waste was hidden under a layer of dirt. Isam Al Qasm the manager for Environmental Protection confirmed that the truck was carrying chemical waste. The driver was paid $200. The origins of the waste was a paint factory in the settlement. The truck belongs to a Palestinian resident of Kufr Bara inside the occupied territory of 1948.The truck was on its way to dump its load of industrial waste in a nearby village. The landowner was also bribed to accept the payload of illegal waste.
The driver of the truck was handed to the Israeli authorities through the security coordination between the two police forces. A notice was sent to the company as to the course of actions if the crime is repeated.
Truck drivers, owners and the landowners are all part of the vicious cycle. The settlements’ will bribe people to dump the waste behind the green line. The usual amount for the bribe is between $50- $200. Construction waste in unpopulated areas and by the sides of the road are the most problematic.
There have been other cases where illegal dumping has been detected. There has been similar cases in the villages of Qalqilya,Tulkarem, Shofa,Flamia, Beit Lyd and Azoun. The lack of precedence in dealing with cases of illegal waste dumping has allowed the cases to be dismissed by local courts. The accused are usually fined instead of serving sentences of hard labor and jail time.
The poverty of the villages that lie west of Ramallah have opened more opportunities for illegal dumping. Waste costs 30 shekels a ton and landowners are in need for the extra income. The environmental authority does not have the resources to keep up with the massive illegal waste dumping.
Translated by: Kefah Abukhdeir