by Dr Meriel Watts, Tanya Lee, Heather Aidy

 

With the generous permission of the Arab Network for the Protection of Nature (APN) we are publishing the summary to this important report as well as further publications produced for APN:

 

  1. Boycott as a Mechanism for Exercising Market Power: the Case of Palestine Under Colonial Occupation: Executive Summary   Full Report
  2. Food Security Challenges and Innovation in Gaza: Full Report (APN)   (Thimar)
  3. Human Rights and Toxic Chemicals in the Occupied West Bank (Palestine): Executive Summary    Full Report
  4. National Conflicts, Food Sovereignty and Development Cooperation: Executive Summary    Full Report

 

 

Overview

 

In May 2016, representatives from Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN) and PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) undertook a visit to the Occupied West Bank in Palestine. One of the main purposes of this visit was to assess the human rights and environmental implications of the manufacture and illicit trade in pesticides into the Occupied West Bank from inside the Green Line (refer to the next section for an explanation of this terminology). Much of the material in this report was obtained from site visits and discussions with government officials, farmers, farm union leaders and academics.

 

Agriculture forms a critical part of the Palestinian economy and society for a variety of reasons, including employment, food security, and prevention of encroachment by illegal Israeli settlements1. However, farming is significantly hindered by the imposition of the military occupation of Palestine by Israel and the activities of illegal Israeli settlers. This prevents Palestinians from, amongst other things, maximizing their agricultural opportunities. As a result, food security is a significant concern, with more than 25 percent of Palestinian households identified as food insecure2.

 

APN and PANAP representatives heard about and witnessed a number of serious problems relating to agriculture, including:

  1. The presence of banned highly hazardous pesticides;

  2. the discharge of raw industrial and domestic sewerage from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied west bank directly onto Palestinian grazing lands and olive groves;

  3. The dumping of solid waste on Palestinian farmland by Israeli settlers and settlement-affiliated companies;

  4. The deliberate poisoning and shooting of Palestinian livestock by Israeli settlers and army personnel;

  5. the expropriation of farmland for Israeli military and other purposes;

  6. the denial of access to and/or exorbitant charges for farmers to use local water resources (such as aquifers) and to access pumps inside the occupied west bank reserved for supplying settlements;

  7. The leaching of chemicals from Israeli industrial and agricultural operations into water resources;

  8. The destruction of livestock housing and farmers’ homes by settlers under the watch of the Israeli military;

  9. The requirement for some farmers to have permits to access their own farmland, which are not always possible to obtain; and

  10. Israel’s building of the concrete apartheid wall,3 which cuts farmers off from their land in some places, and in other places causes flooding because of its interference with natural water flows.

 

These human rights infractions are of profound significance to Palestinian farmers, society and economy. Many have been reported to the United Nations Special Mechanisms on Human Rights3 and are reflected in a recent UN Resolution passed in the Human Rights Council focused on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory4. This report takes a specific look at concerns related to the impacts of pesticide in the Occupied West Bank.

 

 

Bibliography

 

1 Ministry of Agriculture. 2009. The Palestinian Agricultural Sector Strategic objectives and priority interventions (General

Guidelines). Palestinian National Authority. http://www.apis.ps/documents/AGR%20PRIOR%20MOA11-05-09-LAST.pdf

 

2 Summary of Preliminary Results of SEFSec 2013-2014: More than one fourth of households are food insecure in Palestine.

Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. http://www.apis.ps/up/1449644615.pdf

 

3 Re: Denial of the Rights to Life, Livelihood and Self-Determination of Indigenous Pastoralists in al Hadidiya and Ein al

Beida, Tubas Governorate, Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Communication Submitted to UN Special Rapporteurs:

Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Ms Hilal Elver, Mr Léo Heller, Mr. Baskut Tuncak, Mr. Danius Puras, Mr. John Knox; 17th May 2016.

Re: Human Rights Implications of Israel’s Barkan Industrial Park on Bruqin and Haris Residents, Salfit Governorate,

Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Communication Submitted to: Mr. Baskut Tuncak, Mr. Danius Puras, Mr. John Knox; 17th

May 2016.

Re: Human Rights Implications of the Geshuri Industrial Complex on the Residents of Tulkarem, Occupied West Bank

(Palestine). Communication Submitted to: Mr. Baskut Tuncak, Mr. Danius Puras, Mr. John Knox; 17th May 2016.

Re: Human Rights Implications of the Jayyous Landfill on Palestinian Residents in Jayyous and Azzun, Qalqilya Governorate,

Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Communication Submitted to: Mr. Baskut Tuncak, Mr. Danius Puras, Mr. John Knox; 17th

May 2016.

Re: Implications of Illicit Transport of Unregistered Pesticides into the Occupied West Bank (Palestine). Communication

Submitted to: Mr. Baskut Tuncak; 17th May 2016.

4 http://panap.net and http://apnature.org

A/HRC/31/l/39, 22nd March 2016. http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/HRC/31/L.39

Date: 2017-11-15


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