Palestinian-Arabs are Committing Crimes Against Nature

Palestinian-Arabs are Committing Crimes Against Nature

© David Burton 2018

Environmental Destruction

     The Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza, Samaria and Judea are committing crimes against nature – AND THE WORLD IS SILENT!

     “. . . hundreds of acres of one of the most scenic areas of southern Israel have been reduced to burned, blackened wasteland by firebomb-laden kites flown across the border by Palestinians.
     “By the end of winter, the Be’eri Crater Nature Reserve is normally blanketed with green grass interspersed with red anemones. The park’s trees, grass and ground are home to many species of wildlife.
     “However, hundreds of kites carrying flaming material have been flown across the border by Gazan Palestinians . . . and photos show the entire area has been reduced to blackened stubble.” (Ref. 1) In addition to the foliage that the Gazan terrorists have destroyed, animals in the nature reserve have also been caught in the fires and killed.

     While the nations of the world talk and talk about the damage being done the environment by carbon emissions and other pollutants, they say and do nothing about the environmental pollution and destruction that the Palestinian-Arabs are causing in Israel and in the land that they occupy.

     It is most interesting to note that the deliberate disregard of the serious and flagrant international humanitarian, environmental, and ecological crimes committed by Hamas and the Palestinians is being totally disregarded by the United Nations and many nations around the world.

     “By initiating, encouraging, and supporting mass pollution of the border area through the organized stockpiling and burning of tires, the Palestinian leadership is responsible for repeatedly creating caustic clouds of carbon pollution. This act is damaging to the health of the Palestinian civilian demonstrators themselves, as well as the residents of Israeli communities in the vicinity of the border.
     “Incendiary kites and balloons have ignited vast swathes of agricultural land in Israel, destroyed crops, and endangered Israeli residents. The International Criminal Court Statute defines as a war crime ‘extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.’ [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     The Hamas terror organization governing Gaza, with the willing support and cooperation of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority/PLO, has reached the conclusion that it is a worthwhile endeavor to pollute the air with burning tires {and} fly {incendiary} kites towards Israel . . .” (Ref. 2)

     The Palestinian leadership and Hamas are guilty of the flagrant violations of international humanitarian law. This is especially true of their willful and deliberate pollution of the environment, and burning and destruction of crops and agricultural produce. And yet, the international community remains silent! And where are all the environmental zealots? Why haven’t they raised their voices against the deliberate creation of this environmental disaster?

     “By initiating, encouraging, and supporting mass pollution of the border area with caustic carbon fumes through the organized stockpiling and burning of tires, the Hamas leadership and the Palestinian Authority are responsible for repeatedly creating caustic clouds of carbon pollution. This act is damaging to the health of the Palestinian civilian demonstrators themselves, as well as the residents of Israeli communities in the vicinity of the border.
     “The smoke tactic pollutes and poisons the environment and atmosphere in utter disregard of the major concerns of the international community over environmental protection, as expressed in international treaties and resolutions of various bodies involved in protecting the environment.
     “While, clearly, the Palestinian leadership pays no regard to such environmental and ecological norms, what is no less instructive is the fact that no international leader or organization – environmental or other – has found it necessary to relate to these violations of international law.
     “Encouraging, inciting, and organizing Palestinians, to build, arm, and fly incendiary kites and balloons over Israeli territory is a glaring violation of environmental norms and principles of international humanitarian law.
      - - -
     “{The} declared aim of Hamas is to use such ostensibly harmless kites and balloons to ignite vast swathes of agricultural land in Israel, destroy crops, and endanger Israeli residents of towns and villages in the border areas. Moreover, reports suggest that Hamas requisitioned helium gas, supplied by Israel, from Gaza hospitals to provide lift for the balloons.
      - - -
     {Note should also be taken of the fact that,} “Pursuant to the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (commonly known as ‘Oslo 2’), and specifically in the third annex to that agreement dealing with civil affairs, the Palestinians are obligated to ‘act for the protection of the environment and the prevention of environmental risks, hazards, and nuisances, including all kinds of soil, water, and air pollution.’ [Emphasis mine] {But then, when have the Palestinian-Arabs ever honored any agreement they have made?}
     “It is surprising that the EU leadership, as well as Russia, Norway, Egypt, and Jordan, all signatories as witnesses to the Oslo Accords, as well as the United Nations, which endorsed the accords, have found it neither appropriate nor sufficiently important to intervene vis-à-vis the Palestinians to prevent such violations of the accords.
     “To the contrary, they have preferred to close a blind eye to these Palestinian violations . . .
      - - -
     “The leaders of the European Union and other members of the international community must take a step back in order to view the situation in a more realistic manner in light of the flagrant violations by the Palestinians of some of the most fundamental norms and principles of international law that the European Union and other leaders hold so dear.” (Ref. 2)

     For well over a century, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) has expended enormous resources to turn the desolate Palestine of Arab neglect and exploitation into the reforested and green land of modern Israel. JNF has planted millions of trees, drained malarial swamps, built reservoirs, and irrigated the land. All who have visited Israel in recent decades know it to be a land of milk and honey- a modern miracle. But today, “More than half of the Jewish National Fund forests in the western Negev have been reduced to ash as a result of the past six months of arson terrorism by Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip . . .
     “. . . fires sparked by burning balloons and kites sent over the Gaza border into Israel have claimed 8,648 acres of land in southern Israel. Experts believe it will take years to rehabilitate the burned areas.
      - - -
     “An additional 3,459 acres are designated nature reserves, a large proportion of which has sustained catastrophic damage. Nearly a quarter, 22 percent, of the Israeli nature reserves next to Gaza have been lost in the past half-year.
     “. . . As well as consuming plant life, the fires have devastated local fauna, such as birds and turtles.
     “A total of 1,235 acres of cultivated farmland has also been lost to the arson attacks, as well as 988 acres of open land.” (Ref. 3)

     The recent atrocities against nature committed by Hamas and the Palestinian-Arab residents of Gaza are not the only crimes that the Palestinian-Arabs. They have been harming the environment in which they live for decades.

     For years, Gaza has been illegally drilling wells and over-pumping its aquifers, causing seawater to seep into the groundwater and salinity levels to rise. 97% of Gaza’s water has not been potable.

     The Palestinian-Arabs haven’t bothered to eliminate water leaks in city pipes - up to 33% of water in Palestinian-Arab cities has been wasted through leakage.

     The Palestinian-Arabs have refused to build water treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so under the Oslo agreement. Sewage flows out of Palestinian towns and villages directly into local streams, thereby polluting the environments and the aquifer and causing the spread of disease. Despite the fact that donor countries have been willing to fully fund the building of treatment plants, the Palestinian-Arabs have managed to avoid their obligations to build such facilities.

     “Water experts have agreed that the Gaza Strip will soon have no safe drinking water given that 97 per cent of water is polluted, which has caused concerns over the spread of dangerous diseases.
      - - -
     “. . . pollution in the Gaza Strip has increased because sea water pollution rates have hit 73 per cent. The number of diarrhea cases among children under the age of three (80 per cent) is indicative that fresh water has become contaminated and unsafe for drinking.
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     “Groundwater is being contaminated by nitrates from uncontrolled sewage and from the fertilizers used on farms. It is estimated that 96 per cent of groundwater is unsafe for drinking without treatment.
      - - -
     “. . . the problem {could} be solved by stopping the pumping of water from the groundwater {aquifer}, . . . implementing desalination projects, wastewater reuse, collecting rain water and importing water. . .” (Ref. 4)

     Rather than taking these steps, Hamas has chosen to devote all its resources to building “terror tunnels”, to sending “fire-kites” to destroy the ecology in Israel and to building and acquiring, rockets and mortar shells which it has indiscriminately fired into Southern Israel. For the past 7 decades, there has been no real Palestinian-Arab desire to solve their ecological and environmental problems. Instead, they prefer to perpetuate these problems and then blame the State of Israel for all their self-imposed woes. Rather than working to eliminate their problems, they prefer victimhood so they can continue to use these problems as a tool with which to bash Israel.

     Gaza’s Mediterranean offshore waters could have provided a booming fishing industry to feed the Arab population in Gaza, Samaria and Judea, along with a seaside tourist industry that would bring in money and proved jobs for the local population. Instead, the Hamas leadership has used funds intended for infrastructure development to build terror tunnels, to enrich themselves and to finance its ongoing war with Israel. As a result, the waters off the coast of Gaza are an environmental disaster, filled with raw sewage and untreated runoff.

     In contrast, the waters off Israel’s shores are relatively clean and unpolluted. Here again, the Palestinian-Arab fanatics’ blind hatred of Jews and Israel, coupled with an inherent affinity for martyrdom and the insatiable need to be perceived as a victim and to garner sympathy for their self-inflicted predicament has led to the current state of affairs off Gaza’s coast. Hamas’ refusal to allow any aid from Israel in the form of technological know-how has been one of the main contributors to the deplorable condition of Gaza’s coastal waters.

     The ever-increasing pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by the Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza is not only contributing the deterioration of their environment, but it is also impacting the environments in adjoining Egypt and Israel. “Millions of gallons of sewage from Gaza poured every day into the Mediterranean are destroying Palestinian and Israeli freshwater supplies as well as local fishing zones . . .
     “The . . . pollution caused by the raw sewage has caused miles of coastline to turn into rotting quagmires and has already forced the closure of an Israeli desalination plant.
     “ ‘It’s certain that the Gaza Strip’s beaches are completely polluted and unsuitable for swimming and entertainment, especially in the summer,” said . . . the Palestinian Water Authority.
     “While several aid groups have attempted to solve the sewage crisis, fixing the problem would mean lifting restrictions on building materials, something that is difficult for Israel to do in light of Hamas’ history of confiscating construction materials for terrorist purposes. [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     “. . . supplies of wood and cement {from Israel} were slowed because Hamas used them to build terror tunnels.
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     “{Also,} . . . if Gaza’s sewage isn’t treated soon, diseases like cholera and typhoid could come to Israel via the sea and a shared aquifer.” (Ref. 5)

     In 2016, it was reported that, “sewage from West Bank areas administered by the Palestinian Authority has been polluting streams inside Israel for years . . . {and} the problem led for the first time to a beach being closed in the Netanya area, near the mouth of the Alexander River.
     “And the . . . beach was not the only victim of the sewage from the Nablus-area olive oil factories, . . . ‘The Nature Authority says this sewage kills off a lot of animal life, and rehabilitation work done in the area goes down the drain. The authority has warned about this problem multiple times in the past.” (Ref. 6)

     In 2016, Israel’s Civil Administration had to enforce environmental regulations against Palestinian charcoal plants that cause clouds of polluting smoke to waft over Jewish and Palestinian communities in the northern West Bank (Samaria and Judea).

     These plants used pruned branches, mainly from citrus and avocado orchards, and created charcoal by the slow burning of piles of wood surrounded by wet straw and soil.

     The process caused massive amounts of smoke, pollution and strong smells and has been linked to respiratory problems suffered by 25 percent of the children in the Palestinian town of Ya’bad, west of Jenin, and respiratory illnesses including cancer suffered by 70% of the charcoal workers. A 2007 survey of Ya’bad showed that deaths from respiratory diseases and cancer were “significantly higher” than in other villages.

     From 2012 to 2016, some 700 illegal kilns in Israel and in Area C — the part of the West Bank controlled wholly by Israel in accordance with the Oslo Accords – had to be shut down.

     But many kilns are located in Area A - the part of the West Bank under total Palestinian control - and Area B - where control is shared by Israel and the Palestinian-Arabs, where Israeli authorities do not have control over them. So in 2016, Israeli Civil Administration officials entered Area B in the Jenin area, where they seized work tools and 160 tons of tree pruning waste. The administration took this action after issuing several warnings to the Palestinian Authority that it would enforce anti-pollution regulations if the authority failed to shut the plants down. Dozens of wood-burning kilns still operate near Jenin in the northern West Bank. In 2015, Israel’s courts ordered the government to find a way to enforce the Clean Air Law.[7]

     In the Mid-East, water is always an ongoing issue. So it’s no surprise that Issues regarding water management and water policy in Israel-Palestine are of major importance. The Israeli Water Authority has determined that there have been a large number of unapproved wells drilled by Palestinians in the West Bank. Estimates that approximately 250 wells have been drilled along the Northern Basin of Jenin, Tulkarem-Qalqilya and Jericho “pirating” water from the Mountain Aquifer. There have also been many reported instances of piracy occurring in the other Palestinian villages. Another problem is that Palestinian-Arab citizens of the West Bank are discharging wastewater into the water table, imperiling both themselves and Israeli who share this resource.[8]

     “The Israeli Water Authority {IWA} reported that The Palestinian Water Authority has acted in breach, stating that the proper maintenance of waste and sewage water has not been acted upon, the allowance of sewage that leached into the water table and aquifers has been a major source of contamination. Article 40 of the {Oslo} Accords mandate that the Palestinian government is to develop new water sources by means of technological advancements (desalination technology or waste/sewage treatment). The development of new systems to add water into the water economy, so as to decrease the reliance on freshwater for non-consumable uses has been an area of contention. The Eastern Mountain Aquifer was transferred to the PWA {Palestinian Water Authority} by the IWA, as mandated by the Oslo II Accords, but this source has not been efficiently used by the PWA. Improper management of pre-existing systems; such as pipeline leakage, outdated equipment, lack of technological development in water resource management systems and pollution of existing sources have only exacerbated this issue.” (Ref. 8)

     In another instance of Palestinian-Arab disregard for nature and the environment, The Israeli authorities in 2016 confiscated two tractors, a hydraulic excavator and other equipment used by Palestinians to carry out illegal quarrying that has been damaging a rare nature reserve in the Judean Desert.

     “The Palestinians {had} been carrying out quarrying activities in the area for several years . . . in the upper part of Darga ravine, a seasonal stream that runs from the Judean Desert to the Dead Sea . . . The extensive quarrying {had} been systematically destroying the ecosystem in the rare nature reserve . . .
      - - -
     “All this illegal quarrying also happens to be a blatant violation of the Oslo accords, which forbid any such activity without Israeli consent. But since the news media and the international community routinely ignore the many other Palestinian violations of the accords, why would they speak up about this one?” (Ref. 6)

     Indisputably, The Palestinian-Arabs in Gaza, Samaria and Judea are committing crimes against nature – AND THE WORLD IS SILENT! When environmental issues are of such significance throughout the world today, why are the nations of the world ignoring the environmental destruction and pollution being created by the Palestinian-Arabs in and around Israel? Why are the voices of the world's enviromentl activists silent?



  1. Drone footage shows Israeli nature reserve devastated by Gaza flaming kites, The Times of Israel, 28 May 2018.
  2. The Many Ways Palestinians Violate International Law, Ambassador Alan Baker,
    Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs; Vol. 18, No. 19, 17 June 2018.
  3. Hamas Arson Terror Burned Half of Israel’s Forests Near Gaza, Nikki Guttman, United With Israel,
    18 October 2018.
  4. 97% of water in Gaza is polluted, Israel, Middle East, News, Palestine, 21 March 2018.
  5. Gaza Sewage Causes Water Crisis, Deborah Danan, Breitbart, 4 May 2016.
  6. Palestinian pollution: a dirty little secret, Stephen M. Flatow, Jewish News Syndicate, 20 June 2017.
  7. Israel raids Palestinian charcoal plants over pollution, Sue Surkes, The Times of Israel, 17 November 2016.
    CUNY Academic Commons, December 2014.


  15 November 2018 {Article 341; Islam_32}    
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