‘We came here to redeem a land and we end up contaminating it’: Israel’s pollution problem in Palestine

As the occupier, Israel has obligations both to the people and environment, under international law. It is time that the world and its courts step up the pressure and hold Israel accountable, writes Charlie Jaay

Thursday 03 June 2021 20:14
Comments
<p>An armed Israeli stands guard as a hydraulic excavator uproots olive trees from a Palestinian property between the West Bank village of Jayyous and the nearby Israeli settlement of Zufim</p>

An armed Israeli stands guard as a hydraulic excavator uproots olive trees from a Palestinian property between the West Bank village of Jayyous and the nearby Israeli settlement of Zufim

“It’s a Zionist paradox. We came here to redeem a land and we end up contaminating it.” - Alon Tal, founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defence.

Palestine is a small but critical part of the Fertile Crescent. With its rich soil and Mediterranean climate, this Middle Eastern country is considered to be the Cradle of Civilisation, the area where plants and animals were first domesticated, approximately 10,000 years ago, allowing humans to settle, and civilisation to develop.

Its unique position between Europe, Asia and Africa, and diverse range of habitats, has made occupied Palestine a designated Mediterranean Biodiversity Hotspot. According to the Environment Quality Authority, it has around 3 per cent of global biodiversity, and is an important centre of genetic diversity for a wide range of crops – wild ancestors of wheat, barley, vines, olives, onions and pulses, can all be found here.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in