evidence indicating the Israeli source of hazardous waste in the town of Al-Ram
By Firas Taweel
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
58 thousand people in Al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, are forced to inhale daily black fumes emitted from six random landfills that surround the town encircled by the separation wall and military checkpoints.
These Landfills have become big businesses that generate a lot of money for the land owners who receive a certain amount of money in exchange for burying the remnants of the construction of the town and surrounding areas.
In an interview with the director of Hebron municipality, he indicated that his town –Al-Ram- has turned into a landfill for the Israeli waste. Dozens of Trucks pass through Qalandia checkpoint and reach the six landfills formed in Al-Ram. These landfills do not only contain remnants of the construction or solid waste but also plastic and unknown dangerous waste.
It should be noted that the main contributors to this environmental disaster are the truck drivers and the land-owners who receive the trucks in exchange for 20-50 NIS (5-12 dollars) for each truck. But what is more concerning, according to the director of the Public Safety Committee in Jerusalem, –Mohammed Hdaydoun- are the truck drivers who receive 20-50 thousand NIS for each truck that enters the landfills. These trucks often enter the landfills during the night and burry its content before dawn.
The truck drivers receive big amounts of money in exchange for burying the dangerous waste in the Palestinian territories while the land-owners only receive a very small amount.
Due to the danger of these landfills, the Palestinian security services are working to find the suspects who enter and burry the waste, although, until this moment the nature of the waste is still unknown and might be dangerous given that the plastic waste that was reviewed and tested has been classified as hazardous waste.
In addition to turning Al-Ram into a landfill, the number of people suffering from allergies, Asthma and Cancer has increased not to mention the hideous sight of the town where the waste in some of the landfills has reached up to more than 55 meters. For this reason serious actions must be taken to prevent environmental degradation in the town.
Translated by: Ghadeer Kamal Zaineh