PA registers complaint against Israel with Basel Convention

“We submitted a complaint against Israel in accordance with our obligations to the Basel Convention."

November 14, 2016 20:41
1 minute read.
idf west bank

IDF soldiers at a temporary checkpoint in the West Bank [File]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The PA Environmental Authority filed a complaint against Israel with the executive secretary of the Basel Convention on Sunday for allegedly attempting to transfer hazardous waste into a village near Bethlehem.

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, usually known as the Basel Convention, is a international agreement that was designed to decrease the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal.

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PA Environmental Authority spokesman Yasser Abu Shanab told The Jerusalem Post the PA Customs Authority and Environmental Authority stopped two Israeli-plated trucks on October 18 entering Za’tara, a village near Bethlehem, that were allegedly carrying hazardous waste.

“We submitted a complaint against Israel in accordance with our obligations to the Basel Convention, which states that any member country must report any smuggling operation of hazardous waste into its lands,” Abu Shanab said, adding that the PA Environmental Authority also sent a copy of the complaint to the Israeli Environmental Protection Ministry.

The PA became a member of the Basel Convention in April 2015. Israel became member to the agreement in 1994.

Abu Shanab stated that the two trucks were carrying a “gluttonous” substance, which the PA Environmental Authority determined is one of the hazardous substances mentioned in the Basel Convention, without mentioning the exact name of it.

Abu Shanab said that if Israel does not address the complaint, Basel Convention officials will intervene.

“If Israel denies that this smuggling operation took place or does not respond to our complaint, officials party to the Basel Convention will intervene to find appropriate solutions and ensure the implementation of the agreement,” Abu Shanab stated.

Moreover, Abu Shanab said the authority “will continue to monitor trucks entering the Palestinian lands,” but said that “it needs complete control of the borders between Israel and Palestine to guarantee that it can foil future smuggling operations.”

Israel controls the checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel.

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, a branch of the Defense Ministry, said it is investigating the incident.

The Palestinian Authority leadership has adopted a strategy of internationalizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent years, challenging Israel and its policies in international institutions and the media.

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