Tons of Hazardous Israeli Factories’ Waste Buried in the Towns of Hebron
By: Thaer Faquseh
the Israeli toxic waste that was buried in the lands of Beit Ummar village, was covered with dirt and rubble to hide the evidence of the crime
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
Hebron district recently witnessed the entrance of large amounts of dangerous waste that contains carcinogens. This waste that results from Israeli chemical factories and presses is being brought and buried in the towns and the villages of Hebron by Palestinian smugglers.
The Palestinian Environment Quality Authority, in cooperation with the Palestinian Security Forces, managed to arrest a number of smugglers who brought four shipments of hazardous chemicals that contain toxins, pigments and used mineral oils in addition to unknown chemical substances, and have managed to bury part of it in the lands of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
Hence, 51 tons of unknown chemical substances from Israeli factories were buried in the lands of Beit Ummar and covered with dirt creating "slurry quarries". Another 15 tons of ink and hazardous pigment waste from Israeli presses were found in the lands of Halhoul with 10 thousand litters of used mineral oils and 130 litters of suspicious chemicals that are believed to be used in the drug industry.
When asked about the reason for possessing a large number of various Israeli pigment barrels near his home, the tradesman (M.H.) answered “I have been buying these barrels for years and I have never faced any legal accountability because this is not a crime and does not pose any threat, the barrels only contain ink remnants.” He assured that he constantly collects these barrels from Israel for the reason of trade and disposes the pigment remnants in the Palestinian lands near his house or town. He explained that some of the barrels are reused to transfer water and mineral oils and others are sold to the citizens to use them in irrigating crops or grain storage. The tradesman (M.H.) was shocked with the accusation from the Environment Quality Authority of bringing Israeli dangerous substances that pose a threat to the health of the citizens and the agricultural lands.
The question remains: will the Palestinian judiciary contribute to deterring those who practice this dangerous trade which puts at risk Palestinian lives and environment? Will punitive judicial sentences be imposed against those convicted of committing such crimes or will reduced sentences encourage the increase of smugglers?
Translated by: Ghadeer Kamal Zaineh