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Israel Approves Plan to Recycle Its Trash in the West Bank

Israel Approves Plan to Recycle Its Trash in the West Bank

Tuesday, 7 August, 2018 - 09:15
Men unload trash from a pick-up truck (File photo: Reuters)
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al Awsat
The Israeli government approved constructing a waste recycling facility in Maaleh Adumim area of the West Bank, southeast of Jerusalem. The Israeli government has earmarked a budget of $400 million for the landfill.

Environmental organizations in Israel announced their objection to this project because it involves the burning of waste, citing at least 40 sites in the West Bank where garbage is frequently burned. However, a number of Israeli ministries support it, including the Ministry of the Environment.

The project aims at disposing of Israeli waste by dumping them in the West Bank. Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit objected to the suggestion, speaking explicitly about waste recycling, dumping and incineration.

Mandelblit said that such a project violates international law, so it has been amended to waste recycling at this stage.

Several Israeli forces suspect that the project will be an attempt to seize Palestinian land, not only to get rid of Israeli waste, at the expense of the environment and health of Palestinians.

The government is trying to empty this area of Palestinians and expand existing settlements.

The plan has received broad support from government ministries and the Civil Administration, as well as the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

However, sources familiar with the project confirmed it needs the approval of the Defense Ministry, which demanded that it have control over operating the project and recruiting workers.

In the coming days, a meeting will be held between all parties and Israeli ministries to discuss the implementation of the project and whether the Palestinian Authority should be informed or not.

Officials in the Israeli Ministry of Environment admit that there are severe environmental problems in the West Bank, originating from Israeli occupation and an absence of environmental protection policies.

Figures show that there are at least 40 sites in the West Bank where garbage is frequently burned. According to the Ministry, there is a need for 26 new professional positions to handle the hazards.

On Monday, Palestine’s Environment Quality Authority (EQA) announced that it had been able to return hazardous waste to Israel, eight months after they were seized outside the settlement of Metarim, south of Hebron.

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