Palestinian Lands Transformed into Dumping Sites for Colonists’ Waste

Palestinian Lands Transformed into Dumping Sites for Colonists’ Waste
The dumping site for solid waste generated by the Israeli colonies established in the Governorate of Qalqilia (including the colonies of Tsufin, Alfe Minshe, Gush Shomron, Ma’ale, Janat and Karneh) is located 2 kilometers south of the village of Jayyous and 1.5 kilometers north of the village of Azzoun Al Shamaliya. The site was established in 1980 on a confiscated 10-dunum piece of land owned by Mr. Jamal Abdel Nabi from the village of Jayyous.
Garbage dumping in Jayyous for 20 years:
The waste dumping started officially in 1989 when huge quantities of industrial and chemical waste from Israeli factories were dumped into Abdel Nabi’s land. The dumped waste causes cancer and is currently being placed away from Israeli colonies and population centers and right next to Palestinian communities. As such, the Palestinians are facing the real danger of pollution of their lands, ground water, air in addition to the fact that a stinky odor that fills the air surrounding the dumping site. The fact that Palestinian children play regularly in the vicinity of the dump only magnifies the dangers presented by the site.

Photo 1 & Photo 2: The Dumping Site
As the dangers posed by the site has increased, the Palestinian villages and towns affected by the site, including Azzun, Jayyous and Seir, filed an official complains in the late 1980’s at the so-called Israeli “Civil Administration.” The reply of the Administration was negative as it indicated that the dumping site is located 2 kilometers away from the boundaries of Jayyous’s Master Plan and 1.5 kilometer away from Azzun’s. When the Palestinian National Authority came into being in 1993 the affected village councils and municipalities, supported by the Ministry of Local Governance, continued to file official complaints that illustrated the negative and dangerous effects of the dumping site on the lives of the Palestinians. Their efforts bore fruit when the dumping stopped in the year 2000.
Azzun Al Shamaliya and Jayyous: The Real Victims of the Site
Despite the fact that the site is located atop Jayyou’s lands, yet the town of Azzun is the one that is most affected by it due to the fact that its groundwater reserve is located right next to the site. Also, the fact that its main water well is located only 500 meters away from the site amplifies its dangers.
Cancerous Materials Found in Azzun’s Well:
The Municipality of Azzun, in cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, has been conducting since the year 2000 regular testing of the groundwater of Azzun’s northern well which is located only 500 meters from the dumping site. Initial testing carried out by Al Najah University in 2001 indicated the presence of a large percentage of cancerous lead in the water at a concentration of 670 mg/kg H2o. In reaction, the head of the Municipality of Azzun added additional quantities of chlorine into the well. Yet, such a substance is capable of controlling the microbiological pollution, not the chemical pollution caused by substances such as lead.         
Diseases Caused by the Site:
The Palestinian Ministry of Environmental Affairs issued a study about the site in 2004 which pointed to the fact that the site has caused wide-spread pollution in the area. Such pollution has led to the spread of diseases such as paralysis, distorted vision, high blood pressure in addition to skin diseases as well as cancer. Additional testing revealed the presence of 17 poisonous chemicals some of which are internationally forbidden affecting the plants, the animals that feed on the plants in addition to the underground water. Also, of concern is the spread of stray dogs and wild pigs which causes damage to Palestinian plants, crops as well as spreading fear and anxiety in the nearby villages.
Azzun Al Shamalia Recoded the Highest Number of Cancer Cases:
According to a report issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in 2006, the town of Azzun Al Shamalia has one of the highest rates of cancer in the northern parts of the West Bank. The report recorded more than 100 cases of cancer amongst the towns’ residents as well as 19 cancer-related deaths including the 12-year old Adnan Ma’azooz Sbeita and the 23-year old Ibraheem Yousef Abu Zahra. As for the 54-year old Mrs. Aqila Fayeq Abdel Aziz, she is currently battling brain cancer in Jordan where her case is classified as incurable. Moreover, a large number of miscarriage and fetus malformation cases were documented in the town. It is worth pointing out that the Municipality of Azzun Al Shamalia has directed a number of letters and pleas to humanitarian and rights organizations urging the speedy intervention to remove the contents of the site as to put an end to its poisonous effects.
The Central Location of Azzun:
The town of Azzun is located on the main road connecting between the cities of Nablus and Qalqilia. It is situated 23 kilometers west of the city of Nablus, 9 kilometers east of the city of Qalqilia and 22 kilometers south of the city of Tulkarem. It is also connected to the city of Ramallah via a paved road that passes through the villages of Kufr Thulth, Masha, Deir Ballout and Birzeit. As such, the town of Azzun is central to a large number of villages including:       
  • Seir, Jayyous, Kufr Jamal, Kufr Abboush, Kufr Zeibad and Kufr Sur in the north.
  • Kufr Thulth, Sineiria, Masha, Bidia and Al Zawiya in the south.
  • Al Nabi Ilyas and Asla in the west.
  • Kufr Laqif, Jinsafut, Hijja, Baqat Al Hatab, Ammatin, Farta’a, Jit, Kufr Qadoom, Sirra and Jit in the east.  


Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Confiscation