The IDF's Civil Administration and the Environmental Protection Ministry on Wednesday closed down illegal coal mines in the Wadi Ara area near the separation barrier, which the ministry said was causing health hazards to thousands of Palestinians and Israelis.
"Severe air pollution that was caused by coal operations is further evidence that environment hazards cross borders," Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, who participated in the closure, said in a statement. "We will spare no efforts in order to provide for residents of the region, Palestinians and Israelis alike, the basic right to breathe clean air."
This same day, the Civil Administration released to the media a YouTube video
detailing the environmental health risks but economic necessities of coal mines on the opposite side of the West Bank, in Jenin.