Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017
Ramallah: The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has accused the Israeli colonists of Yitzhar, in the West Bank, of dumping construction debris and other garbage in farms in the nearby Palestinian village of Burin. The PNA says crops are being killed possibly by toxic waste.
Ghassan Doghlous, the PNA official in charge of overseeing colonial activities in the northern areas of the West Bank, says the rubbish dumping has reached a point where it is causing severe hardship to the villagers. “The Israeli garbage has damaged huge agricultural land in the village,” he told Gulf News. With a Palestinian population of about 5,000, Burin — 7km southwest of Nablus — and surrounding villages have been a key target of violence and vandalism by the Israeli colonists of Yitzhar — locally known as the most fanatical and violent colonists in the West Bank.
The so-called Price Tag groups of Yitzhar have been carrying out ongoing attacks against Palestinians as revenge for Israeli government action against the colonists, including court rulings against them and forced evacuations.
The colonists have assaulted Palestinian villagers, damaged olive trees, vandalised cars, smashed windows, and cut electricity wires.
The Israeli occupation has confiscated more than 2,000 donums of land that were initially declared as state property and then handed over to the Israeli colonists to expand Yitzhar and create the illegal colony outposts of Har Brakha and Gifat Ronim.
Doghlous says the Israeli colonists are putting massive pressure on the Palestinian villagers in the area to force them to abandon their farms and leave the district. The colonists wanted to expand their constructions and make those areas a part of the Israeli colonial enterprise.
“It is crystal clear that the Israeli colonists can no longer tolerate the indigenous Palestinian residents of the area,” he said. Doghlous added that since 1982, Palestinians in the area had suffered serious agricultural losses, several villagers had been killed, and many others wounded.
Doghlous said the garbage being dumped on the Palestinian farmland appeared to include toxic waste substances, because crops were drying out and dying, resulting in losses the villagers would not be able to withstand.
He said the issue will be raised at the highest regional and international levels to get action to ensure the security of the Palestinian agricultural land in the area. Doghlous added that the garbage dumping was part of a premeditated, systematic and violent campaign against the villagers, but the offenders were going unpunished.
Palestinian officers of the Palestinian-Israeli security affairs liaison office and of the civil affairs liaison office have raised the issue but the Israeli occupation has not taken any measures to bring the Israeli colonists under control.
by Nasouh Nazzal Correspondent
Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.