River of PA sewage flows through Samaria

Miles of sewage from Arab towns flows next to Trans-Binyamin highway.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

the river of sewage
the river of sewage
Regavim

Anyone traveling on Route 465 - the Trans-Binyamin Highway - near the newly built planned city of Rawabi and the Jewish community of Ateret - cannot ignore the smell of the sewage that permeates the highway.

For a long and uninterrupted period, a stream of raw PA sewage has flowed just a few yards from the road,and directly into the nearby village of Wadi Hamam.

The source of the sewage is one or more of the Arab villages adjacent to the road: the villages of Yabrud and Jifna or the town of Bir Zeit, which also has a large university with 15,000 students.

The sewage flows along a path several miles long, creating, in addition to the foul odors, additional hazards of mosquitoes, severe environmental pollution and various related health problems.

The Regavim NGO, which defines itself as protecting "responsible, legal, accountable and environmentally friendly use of Israel's national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation" issued an urgent appeal to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin, and Civil Administration officials to address the serious problem.

"It is sad that we find ourselves again and again standing almost alone in such cases, while organizations dealing with human rights and environmental quality ignore this and similar hazards, because it is not politically correct for them [to be involved]," said Yishai Hamo, the coordinator of the Regavim movement in Judea and Samaria.

"We demand that the authorities ensure the restoration of the situation and restore the space. Authorities must also take criminal measures against those responsible for the pollution and obligate them to cover the cost of restoring the place."

The Israel Nature Authority has reported that almost 90% of PA sewage flows into the water system untreated. Israel has tried to help the PA solve the problem, but the PA refuses to cooperate with Israel. For example, the PA refused to connect Arab towns in Samaria to an Israeli sewage line because the line also serves several Jewish communities. It also nixed a proposed treatment plant that would serve both Arab towns and the Jewish city Ariel.

In May 2017, when a river of sewage from the PA city of Ramallah reached the city of Modiin, within pre-1967 Israel, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said: “In light of the importance of the issue and its effects on many citizens, our office is consolidating in recent days a national program for the prevention and contraction of hazards and pollutants that cross borders. Within the framework of this program the Ministry will act to advance relevant environmental legislation in the area which will enable increased enforcement on matters such as this and which will allot resources for dealing with the matter, including for the treatment of hazardous waste in areas suffering from these problems,”


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