According to a newly released report by Israel’s Environment Ministry, the streams in the Judea and Samaria area have been used as a means of discharging sewage by PA Arabs. The report cites reasons of a lack of sewage treatment facilities in the Palestinian Authority as well as the absence of a cooperation agreement between the PA and Israel as being the cause for this problem.
Itche Meir, chairman of the Municipal Environmental Association of Samaria, confirmed in an interview to Arutz Sheva’s daily journal on Tuesday that the localstreams are contaminated and it is mostly due to Arab sewage. “The reality is that there is no sewage treatment in those Arab cities and villages, and sewage flows into streams, seeps into the ground and pollutes the mountain aquifer. This is damaging both to the environment as well as to natural sites.”
Meir added that Israel does not have a plan to improve or change the situation. “One of the most serious problems is the lack of policy regarding cross-border nuisances,” he said. “We’re not the only case of two countries next to each other. The U.S. and Mexico agree who will take care of pollution, but our system is very complicated, especially since there is no border and everyone lives within each other. In Israel every citizen has a motivation to prevent pollution for future generations but for the Arabs this does not exist.”
He expressed hope that the State comes to its senses on this issue. “It is our responsibility for the next generation to preserve our ground and water resources and to act to connect the PA cities to Israeli facilities. Unfortunately, since the Oslo Accords, we have met all our commitments to provide water and sewage purification, yet they do not do anything. There ought to be a link between water supply and our demand from them that they purify the sewage, but for political reasons we do not require it of them.”
Meir said that he believes that there is also some damage deliberately being done by Arabs to nature. “This is a type of ecological Intifada,” he said. “They found out that this hurts us so they exploit it.”