Another "Poisoning the Wells" Accusation From the PA

Taking a page from medieval European libels against the Jews, a PA official recently accused Israel of poisoning the wells, land and sand of Gaza. It's not the first time.

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz , | updated: 12:39

The web site of the most popular Arabic satellite television network, the Qatari Al-Jazeera, published a statement last month by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority's Environmental Authority accusing Israel of dumping toxic waste in the sands of Gush Katif ahead of the planned August pull-out of Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The PA official, Yusuf Abu Safiyya, claimed that Israel has already buried thousands of tons of poisonous material, solids and liquids, in the lands upon which the Jewish communities in Gaza were built.

"As of now," Abu Safiyya charges, "50,000 tons of toxic waste of the sort forbidden to be buried according to international law has already been buried [in Jewish areas of Gaza]." As a result, the PA demands the creation of an international investigative committee that will "expose the environmental dangers of that criminal act of the state of Israel." The PA announced this week that its own teams will carry out land quality surveys in the towns evacuated by Israel, in order to determine the nature of the substances Israel allegedly buried there.

At a press conference on July 30th, Yusuf Abu Safiyya claimed, "There are three sewage collection pools inside Gush Katif, and one of these pools spilled 15,000 cubic meters onto the arable lands in Muwasi, polluting three main water wells, four greenhouses and spoiling the crops of dozens of dunams of arable lands, which drowned in concentrated sewage water."

The PA's latest "well-poisoning" charges are a rehashing of a 1999 accusation leveled against Israel by Abu Safiyya in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. At that time (April 3, 1999), he claimed that Israel was dumping liquid waste, which is a dangerous threat to the groundwater, in PA areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

According to the July 2005 article on Al-Jazeera, Abu Safiyya added another, somewhat contradictory accusation - that Israel is stealing sand from the Gush Katif region. "Hundreds of trucks are making their way out of Gush Katif loaded with Palestinian sand," the PA official said.

In June, Abu Safiyya told an Islamic web site that Israel has been sending carcinogenic food to the PA market. "The market is inundated with such killer food and chemicals that cause cancer and other malicious diseases. These goods pose serious threats to the health of the Palestinian people," he told

He said at the time that his office "seized" several shipments of Israeli biscuits and juices, found that they contained high percentage of the carcinogen saccarine. "This chemical is highly dangerous to public health and has been banned since 1982 around the globe as studies held it as the main culprit behind cancer," he said. "Frozen meat, summer vegetables and fruit have been injected with chemicals and exposed to radiation which mutated into double of their size."

All that is besides the Israeli toys that beam radioactive rays at Arab children. Abu Safiyya told IslamOnline that Egyptian border authorities seized two shipments of carcinogenic and radioactive Israeli toys in May, 2005.