While Israel was busy dealing with the coronavirus crisis, the Palestinian Authority continued to illegally dump garbage in Judea and Samaria, according to Israeli NGO Regavim.

“Today’s technology allows us to gather very detailed data and to understand exactly what we’re dealing with out in the field,” said Yishai Hemo, field coordinator for Judea and Samaria at Regavim, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting Israel’s resources.

“While in the past we were forced to make an educated guess, or to estimate the quantity of garbage and pollution at the illegal garbage dumps blighting the landscape throughout Judea and Samaria, today we are able to provide precise numbers,” he said.

According to Regavim, the Ramallah Municipality—the seat of the P.A.—has been busy dumping thousands of tons of rubbish into an abandoned quarry in the Binyamin region as law enforcement was cut back by 70 percent during the coronavirus crisis. The Palestinian Authority took advantage of the opportunity “to get rid of thousands of tons of garbage the easy way,” according to Regavim.

Hemo said “the illegal garbage dumps that pop up throughout Judea and Samaria every summer present an ongoing challenge, but this particular dump is something else altogether. The sheer quantity of garbage that accumulated in a few short weeks, without anyone taking the trouble to stop and investigate what has been going on literally under their noses, is unprecedented.”

He went on to point out that a large number of garbage trucks would normally have grabbed the attention of Israel.

“Under normal circumstances, the activity of this sort would have set alarm bells ringing for people out in the field,” he said.

Yisrael Gantz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council, said “pollution caused by illegal dumping is eco-terrorism. Apparently, the natural beauty of this area’s unique ecosystem is of no interest to the Palestinians, even though many of them enjoy and benefit from it.”

He added that “the State of Israel must take responsibility for protecting the environment in Binyamin, and throughout Judea and Samaria.”

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.