Mapal Green Energy 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The High Court of Justice must halt IDF plans to open a sewage treatment plant
by the Ofra settlement on land that belongs to private Palestinians from the
nearby village of Ein Yabrud, the NGO Yesh Din said in a petition to the court
The Israeli human rights group said that in February, the
Environmental Subcommittee of the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria
said it was working to authorize the plant.
Yesh Din said the
subcommittee favored opening the plant after a water engineer assessment said
that the plant offered the best solution for regional sewage treatment and that
the plant would serve both Ofra and nearby Palestinian villages such as Ein
The plant has already been constructed, but additional work is
needed before it can be operational.
However, in its petition to the High
Court of Justice, Yesh Din attacked the credentials of the water experts and
said the report had a number of errors and inaccuracies.
“The author of
the document addresses a wide range of issues [security, planning, surveying,
etc.] that have nothing to do with his field of expertise. Accordingly, it is
difficult to understand why his opinion should be used as a source for the
decision,” the NGO said and added that other available options were not
It said the plant only has the capacity to treat sewage from
Ofra and will not be able to handle the sewage from nearby Palestinian
This is the second time Yesh Din has filed a petition against
the plant. Its first 2009 petition resulted in a HCJ injunction barring the
Civil Administration from opening the plant until the legal status of the land
had been resolved.
According to Yesh Din, the IDF’s solution to the
debate of ownership would be to confiscate the land. It added that an initiative
to purchase the property had failed.
“An attempt is being made to create
the false impression that this sewage plant could function as a regional plant
and could also serve the Palestinian villages in the areas. According to the
data presented by the state itself, the capacity of this sewage plant is
sufficient only for the settlement of Ofra,” said Yesh Din’s attorney Shlomi
“Israel has repeatedly undertaken in court, and in diplomatic
agreements, not to confiscate private Palestinian land for the needs of the
settlements. Now, however, the state is attempting to justify its own violation
of the law,” Zacharia said.
He added that other legal options are