According to the Palestinian Water Authority, the settlement of Ariel has been pumping its sewage directly into the nearby Palestinian village of Bruqin, creating a dangerous and unhealthy situation for the residents of Bruqin.According to the Mayor of Bruqin, the situation has become acute, with sewage contaminating groundwater and crops throughout the area.
Ariel is the largest Israeli settlement in the West Bank, housing around 40,000 Israelis. Israeli officials have said that they will retain Ariel through any negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, despite the acknowledged fact that Ariel, like all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, is in direct violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Israeli sewage dumping on Palestinian land is common, and Israel controls 80% of the water in the West Bank, despite the fact that it is on Palestinian land.
Bruqin Mayor I’krimah Samara told reporters that the sewage dumping ‘is making life unbearable, polluting underground water and springs” in his town.
The Palestinian Authority, which is supposed to have control over the village and the entire West Bank, but has been prevented from taking control due to the ongoing Israeli military occupation.
The head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Shadad Al-A’tili, recently told Mayor Samara that the Palestinian Authority does have the technology available to construct sewage pipes and pumps that could divert the sewage, but that ‘the occupation authorities are obstructing the implementation of mechanisms that can solve the problem.’
Israeli authorities have refused to issue the permits that Israel requires for the village to be able to construct the necessary pipes that would divert the Israeli sewage away from their town.