Environmental NGO: Waste is being illegally burned in the West Bank

he organization has videotaped evidence of the burning, and the recordings are being sent to the relevant authorities in a bid to make them take the issue seriously.

 (photo credit: GREEN ISRAEL FORUM / COURTESY)
(photo credit: GREEN ISRAEL FORUM / COURTESY)
Residents of Judea and Samaria are burning trash rather than disposing of it properly, in some places on a daily basis, causing environmental damage, an NGO has said.
According to the Green Israel Forum, household waste and electronics are burned regularly, both at recognized waste disposal sites and elsewhere in the region. The organization has videotaped evidence of the burning, and the recordings are being sent to the relevant authorities in a bid to make them take the issue seriously.


In Mount Hebron, the forum recorded the illegal burning of electronics in Palestinian villages. A relatively new phenomenon emerging only in the last decade, the electronics are first transferred from Israel to villages near the Lachish Regional Council where they are incinerated to separate valuable precious metals from the plastics and other materials that go into making the equipment.
In Samaria, the group documented trash-burning at a number of well-known sites where the practice is known to take place daily. One of these sites is near Itamar, the forum said. Another is near Ariel, causing environmental damage to both Jewish and Arab residents nearby, as well as wider damage to the environment at large.
Gilad Ach, director of the Green Israel Forum, said the environmental negligence in Judea and Samaria has caused significant damage to both the Jewish and Palestinian populations.
“People who don’t have solutions for the waste they create are simply burning it and harming the planet, the local ecological system and their own neighbors,” he said.
Ach called for stronger enforcement of environmental regulations alongside better planning to better manage waste disposal. “There must be environmentally friendly planning in order to deal with waste in Judea and Samaria just like what [takes place] throughout Israel and in any developed country,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the authorities in Judea and Samaria and those that operate among minorities in Israel are not effective – neither regarding enforcement, nor regarding future planning on how to deal with waste. This failure has led to environmental damage.”
The Green Israel Forum was founded nine years ago to safeguard the country’s environment. Over that time it has documented a number of environmental challenges throughout the country, including illegal quarries and illegal vehicle junkyards in Judea and Samaria.