Study: Israel’s plans to annex West Bank could damage the environment

A Palestinian girl fills up bottles with spring water in West Bank, Israel [Nedal Eshtayah/Apaimages]
A Palestinian girl fills up bottles with spring water in the West Bank, 21 February 2017

Israel’s plans to annex illegally occupied Palestinian territory could seriously damage the environment, a study claimed.

In a report by Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, experts said that Israel’s plan to annex 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank could exacerbate the damaging effects of climate change, including threatening the region’s strategic water supplies, endangering the food security of Palestinians and bring an end to essential cross-border environmental collaboration.

The report warned Israeli politicians to think about their actions. It said: “Climate change is a cross-border global issue with serious natural resource and environmental justice implications.”

The report continued: “As the world and the region are trying to recover from a devastating pandemic and facing an existential threat from rising average annual global temperatures, leaders of Israel must ask themselves if this is the time to attempt to fulfill the dreams of a small minority of Israeli citizens while ignoring the needs of the majority of Israeli citizens and our neighbors for a future with hope.”

READ: Israel wants to control all of Palestine, with as few Palestinians there as possible

This comes as a top demographer warned that Israel faces mass emigration and a record drop in immigration due to COVID-19, throwing Israel’s desire to have a Jewish majority into question.

Israel plans to annex 132 settlements in the illegally occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Despite the international community roundly condemning Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory, the US has been in negotiations over how to go ahead with the plans.

Since Israel announced its annexation plans, the Palestinian Authority said it would cut all agreements with the Israeli government.

Water supplies in the West Bank are controlled by Israel leaving Palestinians to face regular water cuts.

(Source / 01.08.2020)

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