Knesset to Act on Palestinian Authority Pollution

YERUSHALAYIM -

Unregulated burning of wood waste in Palestinian areas has created air pollution and a health hazard for Israelis living in northern Israel, Arutz Sheva reported on Wednesday.

The Knesset Interior and Environmental Protection Committee met in the morning to discuss the environmental damage caused by the Palestinian Authority in the Shomron.

Committee Chairman Dudi Amsalem (Likud) said that “the burning of trees in the Shomron is causing severe environmental pollution in the Menashe Regional Council and Hadera and must be stopped. How many children have to fall sick before we deal with this issue?”

MK Yael Paran (Zionist Camp) complained that living in Pardes Channa (near Hadera) was like “breathing every day like it was Lag Ba’Omer”, and urged the committee to enact new regulations as soon as possible.

Many of Israel’s environmental laws do not apply to Yehudah and Shomron, creating what environmental NGO Green Now called a “paradise for polluters.”

The Interior and Environmental Protection Committee is working on regulations to require farmers to take responsibility for disposal of waste in the pruning and trimming of orchards. They will have three choices: to crush the cuttings, to transport them to a regulated site, or to transport them for use in the energy sector.

The new regulations should be ready soon after the chagim.