Drowning in the waste of Israeli settlers
Date Written: 2017-09-18
Publisher: Al Jazeera
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21441
Several decades ago, the al-Matwa spring in Salfit city would often be crowded with Palestinians hiking in the valley and families picnicking alongside the clear, flowing stream. Now, however, the sewage flowing through the spring, the rancid smell that engulfs the valley, and the mosquitoes swarming the area have left the valley largely deserted.
"All of this waste is coming from Israel's settlements; mostly from the Ariel settlement," Hammad told Al Jazeera on his modest farm adjacent to the spring. "We are very worried about what long-term effects this pollution will have on our future."
The issue of waste management has been ongoing for decades in the occupied West Bank. Last year, some 83 million cubic metres of wastewater flowed throughout the occupied West Bank, of which approximately 19 million cubic meters originated from Israeli settlements built on Palestinian territory in violation of international law, according to the Knesset Research Institute. Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, a researcher for the Israeli NGO Bimkom, tells Al Jazeera that many Israeli settlements do not have proper waste treatment facilities. About 12 percent of settlement sewage remains untreated and travels down into streams near Palestinian communities.