The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem is planning to build a huge garbage dump on Palestinian villages in East Jerusalem, says rights group Adalah. The plan is part of the wider effort to link illegal Jews-only West Bank settlements with Jerusalem.
Around 32,000 Palestinians live in the villages of Anata and al-Issawiyya which are located close to the so-called E1 area that, when completed, will cut the villages off from the rest of the West Bank.
As well as a new 530-dunum dumping ground, the waste plan includes the construction of new solid waste management buildings and roads (1 dunum is 1,000 square meters). The plan will also bring changes to the water, sanitation, electrical, and telephone infrastructure. The site will be used to dump five to eight million cubic meters of solid construction waste over the course of 20 years.
In this video published by Adalah, attorney Suhad Bishara explains that Palestinian communities will be enormously affected in terms of environmental hazards and health, but also in terms of losing their lands: “We know of about 150 Palestinians living in the area from the Jahilin [Bedouins] that will be evicted from that area.”
Anata municipality has formally objected against the landfill plan at the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee assisted by Adalah, the legal center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Civic Coalition for Defending the Palestinians’ Rights in Jerusalem.
On its website, Adalah writes about the objection against the new dump:
Adalah argued that the plan, if realized, will prevent the development of ‘Anata and Al-‘Issawiyya, cutting them off from the Palestinian territories. It will simultaneously improve and privilege connections between West Bank Jewish settlements, area E1, and the Jerusalem municipality. The plan and projections are consistent with the path of the Separation Wall, which divides ‘Anata’s residential areas from its lands that fall under the plan.
Attorney Bishara emphasized in the objection that the planned landfill will inflict daily harm to the residents from gases, dust, and odors emanating from the waste dump. The plan infringes on the residents’ fundamental rights, including their rights to private property, development, and dignity.
The plan also violates international human rights law, the objection added, as it is changing the character of occupied territory, it is not intended to improve the quality of life for the occupied civilian population, and it is not required for military purposes. Instead, the plan is intended to serve the political goals of the occupying power in the area. The plan’s goals are illegitimate, inappropriate, and violate the rules of international law.”