'Palestinians do not adequately treat their sewage'

Landau says he is "infuriated" over pollution of "shared environment."

April 7, 2010 05:21
1 minute read.
Blood-filled sewage flows in Majd el-Kurum's stree

majd el kurum sewage 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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“It is infuriating that we give the Palestinians fresh water and yet they do not adequately treat their sewage and instead pollute our shared environment,” National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau declared at the end of a tour of the Binyamin Region in the West Bank on Tuesday.

“Any requests for a higher allocation of water should come with an understanding that they should be dependent on building waste water treatment plants,” the Israel Beiteinu minister added.

According to the Water Authority, 73 percent of the Palestinians’ sewage goes untreated. It flows to streams or cesspits, rather than to treatment plants. On the other hand, 70% of sewage from Jewish settlements is treated.

Water engineer Jonathan Kopelowitz said at the Talmon waste water treatment plant that sewage produced by 82% of the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria was treated. Moreover, he said, the other 18% of the Jewish population was covered by outdated treatment plants rather than no treatment at all.

However, the Water Authority says that 30% is either not treated or not treated well enough.

Kopelowitz added that for political reasons there was little to no cooperation between Palestinians and settlers regarding sewage treatment. Constructing a joint treatment plant would be to tacitly admit to Israeli sovereignty in the area, he said.

Meanwhile, Water Authority Water Administration for the West Bank head Baruch Nagar said the Joint Water Committee rejected the proposed plan for water and sewage infrastructure for the planned new Palestinian city of Rawabi, 9 km. northwest of Ramallah.

“The plan did not include any component for dealing with sewage, so we rejected it, and they will resubmit it. They know that you can’t submit a professionally deficient plan like that,” he said.

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