Daily Israel Report

Israeli, PA Officials Collaborate to Help the Environment

Ministerial delegations meet over waste treatment, water and air pollution. Peretz: We can only benefit by working together.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 2/21/2014, 7:53 AM

Pollution: an ongoing problem (illustrative)
Pollution: an ongoing problem (illustrative)
Flash90

The ongoing political talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been stalling, recent reports indicate.

But despite their differences, Israel and the PA have been able to unite successfully over a noble cause: helping the environment. 

The staff of the Ministry for Environmental Protection met with their PA counterparts Thursday in Tel Aviv, according to Kol Yisrael Radio and Ma'an, to brainstorm solutions to the biggest ecological problems facing the region today.

Topics discussed included preventing pollution, alternative solutions to waste management, and facing potential health hazards if industrialization increases in the area. 

"[Working together to] protect the environment is, by definition, not [a] groundbreaking [feat]," Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz (HaTnua) explained to Kol Yisrael Thursday night. He noted that the PA and Israel face the same pollution problems, due to their proximity.

"Only through collaboration and cooperation can we work for the benefit of both peoples," Peretz added. 

The PA's side was represented by Deputy Head of Environmental Department Jamal Mtour and a delegation, according to Ma'an. The PA is particularly concerned with waste treatment and landfill usage and has brought the issue to the negotiating table. However, the news agency notes that Mtour continues to deny the formation of a joint commission over the ongoing problem.