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With the generous permission of the Arab Network for the Protection of Nature (APN) we are publishing the summary of this important report as well as further publications or their executive summaries produced for APN:
Between 1st – 7th May 2016, representatives from Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN) and Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PANAP) undertook a joint documentation mission in the Occupied West Bank to better understand the human rights implications of the illegal production, trade, and dumping of pesticides, the dumping of industrial and domestic waste by Israeli settlers, and the culpability of state as well as corporate actors. Through site visits and meetings, we had the opportunity to speak with government officials, union leaders, workers, farmers, pastoralists, medical personnel, educators and students in Hebron, Qalqilya, Salfit, Tubas, Jericho and Tulkarem Governorates.
Our understanding of the situation is grounded in the context of the illegal occupation of the West Bank by Israel1 and the particular impacts of the designation of over 61% of the West Bank as Area C, under full civil and military control of Israel, and in the understanding that corporate agrochemical interests – both Israeli and international – are complicit in perpetuating human rights violations in Palestine. In the following pages we outline the main concerns emerging from our observations and discussions that are in need of immediate international attention. By bringing greater international scrutiny to the human rights violations and environmental harm imposed on Palestinian communities caused by the illegal production, dumping and trade of pesticides and the dumping of industrial and domestic waste by Israeli settlers, it is the intention of APN and PANAP to seek opportunities for challenging the current untenable situation with international pressure in ways that can complement the commendable responses to these issues that Palestinian civil society and government actors are already taking.
Toxic emissions and wastewater discharged from illegal Israeli settlements, including but not limited to Israeli industrial settlements as well as the transport and dumping of hazardous chemicals and waste in the Occupied West Bank, violate internationally recognized human rights by denying the residents in the surrounding Palestinian communities the rights:
To know what chemicals are being used and produced in the settlement zones, and subsequently dumped into the surrounding environment;
To the highest attainable standard of health and to a healthy environment;
To life and livelihood and to safe working conditions;
To be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and development;
Of their children to survival and development; and
To access just and fair redress and effective remedy.