It is a measure of the scale of ‘Israels atrocities against the Lebanese that the worst environmental disaster in Lebanon’s history has gone largely unreported in the midst of all the death and destruction. "Chances are our whole marine ecosystem facing the Lebanese shoreline is already dead," laments the country’s environment minister, Yacub Sarraf. "What is at stake is all marine life in the eastern
More than 15,000 tonnes of fuel oil has leaked from Lebanon’s Jiyye power plant since it was attacked by Israeli warplanes on 13 July. As if deliberately to hamper any attempts to staunch the flow of oil, Israel then bombed the power plant again two days later, preventing emergency workers from gaining access to the site. An indication of the scale of the disaster comes from satellite photos showing a 3,000-square-kilometre slick along two-thirds of ‘s coastline. The oil has now begun to wash up in Syria.
None of this will come as a surprise to the Palestinians, who have suffered the environmental consequences of Israel’s scorched-earth policies for decades. The water supply to nearly a million Gazans was cut off by bombing last month. Untreated sewage lies in pools on the beach, thanks to Israeli shelling of the
Israel will no doubt deny all of this or construe it as "accidental" (and I will be accused of anti-Semitism for daring to write it). No such claim can be made for the 50,000 tonnes of hazardous waste that the UN Environment Programme discovered in 2003, buried by on
In areas where ‘s segregation wall has been completed, whole communities are cut off from their farmlands and water supplies. Construction of the barrier, known to its Palestinian victims as the "apartheid wall", continues apace with support, despite a ruling by the International Court of Justice in
In March last year, according to the Israeli peace campaigner Ethan Ganor, shepherds from Palestinian villages near Hebron found their livestock killed by poison pellets scattered in their fields by Jewish settlers. This might be dismissed as the action of a few fanatics, but it is consistent with reports about settlers targeting Palestinian resources. In 2003, the Guardian journalist Chris McGreal reported how settlers had hacked down Palestinian olive trees in a night attack. More than 250 trees, some dating from Roman times, were damaged or destroyed.
Violence against the land and its inhabitants has become part of the same matrix of aggression. Perhaps most revealing was Israel’s destruction of a solar power project in