Israeli Wastewater Treatment Plant Designed to Benefit Zionist Colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

بشهادة الجميع إبن فلسطين أوصل مؤتمر الأطباء العرب في أوروبا إلى قمة النجاح

wadi -Al NarAl-Haq for Human Rights is gravely concerned by the Israeli authorities plans to build a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Wadi al-Nar, what so-called “Kidron Valley”, in occupied East Jerusalem. This wastewater treatment plant will treat wastewater originating from households in East Jerusalem, including settlements. The wastewater will undergo initial, partial treatment in a facility run by the settlement organisation the Jordan Valley Water Association. The partially treated wastewater will subsequently be used for irrigation in settlements in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea area.

As the Occupying Power, Israel has the obligation to protect the occupied population and ensure public order and safety. However, it must carry out its responsibilities for the benefit of the occupied population and may under no circumstances administer the territory to further its own interests. The proposed wastewater treatment plant will serve the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, thereby solidifying their existence and perpetuating violations of international law.

Furthermore, the wastewater treatment plant will primarily benefit the settlement enterprise – a project that has received the unconditional financial and political support of successive Israeli governments. The flourishing agricultural environment in the West Bank, particularly in the Jordan Valley area, coupled with the exploitation of water and other natural resources found in occupied territory, has turned Israeli settlements into profitable enterprises.

The construction of infrastructure, provision of water resources by the Israeli government, and the establishment of export companies that trade with the European Union, including the Netherlands, have driven the success of such enterprises. These steps have proven essential in reinforcing and consolidating the settlement enterprise at the expense of the occupied Palestinian population and its economy.

Commenting on the issue, Al-Haq Director Shawan Jabarin stated: “The planned wastewater treatment plant will contribute to maintaining and supporting illegal settlements in the OPT and towards making Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem irreversible.” Shawan Jabarin further cautions “all actors, including potential donors and international corporations, involved in the designing, development and construction of the plant against playing a role in undermining the chances of a just peace for the Palestinian people.”

Considering that this project may receive support from Dutch actors, including Dutch legal entities, Al-Haq highlights the Dutch Prosecutor’s recent recognition in the Riwal-case that Dutch nationals, including legal entities, can be held criminally responsible for violations of IHL under Dutch criminal law. Al-Haq therefore strongly urges all actors to terminate any involvement in the wastewater treatment plant.

2 comments to Israeli Wastewater Treatment Plant Designed to Benefit Zionist Colonies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

  • scott shepard

    Kawther Salam,

    I have read your article and I have read the recent editorial in the NYT by Jeff Wheelwright about the sewage treatment project. It is a little hard to sift through the point, as is so often true when it is Israel Palestine, but it is very important.

    Here, I think are the salient points — correct me if you see it differently:

    1. the pollution has been there for some time, and quite smelly
    2. the Palestinians volunteered, made a proposal to build a treatment plant themselves, with grant money, on their land
    3. the idea was that this was filthy water, going ignored, and that the Palestinians were stepping up to the plate, so to speak; in exchange, the result at the other end, would be available for Palestinian use; this was water that no Israeli was lining up to get
    4. when the Israelis realized what was going on, that the Palestinians might get outside money to clean up disgusting water and turn it into useable water, they wanted in on the project
    5. the Israelis at this point are taking over the project or have taken over the project, and want the plant build on ‘their’ land; or at least, for the water that comes out, somewhat clean, at the other end of the process, to come out at ‘their’ end.
    6. If there is going to be a new source of useable water in the Holy Land, the Israelis have interjected themselves to be sure that the Palestinians don’t get it, and the Israelis do get it.
    7. Some fair minded observers, regional, international, have seen this project as a way for two sides to collaborate, so that new useable water will be shared by all; it is a worthy idea, except that clean water is gold in this part of the world. Everybody paying attention knows that. Why would the Israelis willingly allow gold, or, a new supply of somewhat clean water to go anyplace but to other Israelis?
    8. Israelis have been stealing the water all over the Levant for more than 50 years. They steal from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, etc. Who does not know this? They go in at night when nec. and build diverting pipes and pumps and so on. They steal it and then they build swimming pools and sprinkler systems for their pre fabricated villages. Meanwhile, Arabs nearby are drinking out of jugs or big tanks on the roof that collect what can be collected from God’s tears. And when the Israelis are in a bad mood, which is often, their soldiers shoot holes in the tanks of precious water, leaving the Arabs high and dry.
    9. For the story to make sense to others it has to be explained clearly, because it is long and complicated. It aint about the treatment plant itself. The reason the settlers benefit is because the Israeli government makes sure that it controls whatever comes out at the end of the treatment. This is opportunism: I ignore you for years when it seems you have nothing, or you have nothing but shit.
    When you discover a way to turn shit into water by your own hard work, I reemerge, and I determine to take that water, leaving you back as you were. This is the anatomy of total disrespect.

    Remember that movie with Daniel Day Lewis? There Will Be Blood? In the movie, the oil man, played by Lewis, is being challenged by the hapless rival, the young preacher, who wants to sell him a piece of land that has oil underneath. Lewis’s character belittles the preacher. He does not need to buy the tract of land, because Lewis has already stuck in a pipe and sucked out the oil, like a straw going into a milk shake.

    That’s what the Israelis have been doing for years, only it isn’t oil, and it isn’t milk. It’s water. And they suck it up.

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