Daily Israel Report

'Greening’ is for Environment, not Hamas

The IDF is trying to educate Arabs in Judea and Samaria to make their cities green, which happens to be the same color as the Hamas flag.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/24/2012, 8:21 AM

The IDF is trying to educate Arabs in Judea and Samaria to make their cities green. Since green happens to be the same color as the Hamas flag,  the choice of slogans for the ecology-oriented campaign is limited. The IDF can hardly say "Let's make Judea and Samaria green", but it is making its point in other ways.

The Civil Administration, part of the IDF, said it is working with the Palestinian Authority to launch environmental projects and raises awareness in Judea and Samaria.

The projects include a cardboard and plastic recycling plan and waste cleanup in key locations. Contaminating wastes produced by factories and companies in the area will be disposed of in an organized way. There are attempts to prevent polluting the underground water supply.

"Environmental awareness is slowly growing among the Judea and Samaria population," said Civil Administration environmental officer, Benny Elbaz. The various Civil Administration and District Coordination Liaison (DCL) offices in the region promote recycling as well. Flyers written in Arabic elaborating on environmental hazards and energy conservation have been distributed, and Israeli officials are arranging meetings with environmental bodies in the PA.

"This is of great importance and we all understand that the hazard goes beyond borders -- our cooperation with the PA on the matter is extremely successful," said Elbaz. He added that more Palestinian Authority Arabs are complaining about environmental issues as a result of the campaign.

The Civil Administration held a project several weeks ago, cleaning rocks and waste from roads along eight Arab villages in the Hevron and Jerusalem area, and a similar project will be executed this year.

The new environmental trustees are authorized to report complaints and even arrest suspects involved in harming the environment within Israeli- administered territory. Approximately 70 complaints of pollution caused by trucks and cigarette butts were filed last year.