*NEW* Search Our Team Reports! Type a word/phrase in the box below (hint: try "settlers').


Israeli Industrial Zone Intentionally Poisons Palestinians in West Bank

Located between Israel's apartheid wall, the Palestine Technical University campus, and local farmers' land lies Nitzanei Shalom (Buds of Peace), an Israeli Industrial Park that was built on Palestinian land confiscated by the Israeli military in 1980. One Industry located inside the Industrial zone is Geshuri & Sons, an Israeli chemical factory that manufactures fertilizers and agrochemicals. In 1982, Geshuri & Sons was located in Kfar Saba and was forced by the Israeli courts to close, declaring it a health hazard. The owner decided to move the chemical factory to confiscated Palestinian land to avoid strict Israeli environmental laws, to pay Palestinian workers two-thirds less than Israel's minimum wage and to avoid any labor laws to protect Palestinian workers.

Palestine Minister of Environmental Affairs said the chemical factory, “has been a source of extreme pollution and chemical warfare against the Palestinian people.” Several studies have been done in Tulkarm to measure the environmental impact of the industrial zone and its effect on the citizens of the Tulkarm District. Brown University research shows cancer and respiratory illness in Tulkarm District is amongst the highest in the West Bank. Dr. Kifaya Abu-El Huda of Cairo University has done extensive research on the environmental effects of the chemical factory in the West Bank. "The western basin of the Tulkarm and Salfid area is very important for the rest of Palestinian land. The ground water is very close to the surface making it sensitive to pollution", says Kifaya. She believes all the water in the western basin’s wells are polluted. Air pollution causes respiratory diseases and eye infections in the area’s residents. "Geshuri came to Tulkarm, cancer levels have increased, caused by the toxic fumes", according to Kifaya. And a 2003 study conducted by An-Najah University in Nablus concludes that Tulkarm has the highest rates of lung cancer in the West Bank due to fumes from the industrial area. It states that the areas most affected by lung cancer were Jenin and Tulkarm.

Geshuri & Sons operates for 11 months while the winds blow their toxic fumes towards the West Bank, but the factory closes when the winds blow toxic fumes towards Israel, thus preventing their polluting Israel's environment. Approximately 84,000 Palestinians in the Tulkarm District are effected by the chemical factory fumes. Palestinian workers at the chemical factory are constantly exposed to dangerous conditions. In the last ten years, 5 workers have died and one worker succumbed to cancer. The chemical factory has no sewage system, so their toxic waste regularly seeps under their 15-20 foot razorwire-topped concrete walls, contaminating the local farmers fields and university lands. Geshuri - like Union Carbide in Bophal, India - take advantage of places without environmental regulations to profit at the expense of human life.

Palestine Technical University extends an invitation to universities worldwide to witness their situation. 

Anyone wishing to host a presentation on Meta Peace Team members' experience in the West Bank, please contact metapeaceteam@gmail.com or MaryHanna.MPT@gmail.com
Chemical factory next to local farms

Concrete wall protect chemical factory next to farm

Geshuri borders Palestine Technical University

No comments: