The Palestinian Central Census department reported that Qalqilia city, north of the West Bank, is facing an environmental threat caused by the garbage of twenty settlements in the area, especially since Qalqilia includes the largest concentration of settlements.
There are at least twenty settlements in Qalqilia area, while the total number of settlers living there is close to 55.000.
Qalqilia governor, Mustafa Al Malky, said that there are at least twenty waste-dumps for settlements in Qalqilia district, which endangers the environment thee, and threatens the lives of the residents.
“They bury the garbage on land which belongs to Qalqilia district, since it does not cost them much”, Al Malky said, “While if they want to dump their waste in the licensed area in Be’er Shiva, it will cost them more than 5000 USD”.
Al Malky added that these are considered direct violations of signed agreements, which directly endanger the lives of the residents.
Also, Al Malky issued arrest warrants against Palestinian residents who cooperate with Israeli contractors in order to bury the garbage in Palestinian lands.
The Palestinenet news website reported that several residents contracted with Israeli contractors in order to use their lands as waste-dumps for cheap prices which did not exceed 20 US Dollars (per dump).
Dr. Hashim Al Masry, head of Qalqilia municipality said that the municipality found out that one contractor, who is an Arab resident of Israel, brought twenty waste-vehicles to the area and dumped their garbage in the main waste-dump location which belongs to Qalqilia municipality.
Al Masry ordered an investigation in the matter, and arrested several residents and policemen, involved in this case, and installed permanent guards at the site. Since 1996, Palestinian security devices managed to uncover dozens of barrels which include toxic materials brought from settlements and Israeli cities and dumped in Qalqilia district.