Palestinian, Israeli officials hold meeting on environmental issues
Published Thursday 20/02/2014 (updated) 22/02/2014 17:49
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian and Israeli officials met in Tel Aviv on Thursday in order to discuss environmental issues suffered by Palestinians in the West Bank, a Palestinian Authority official said.
Deputy Head of the Palestinian Environment department Jamal Mtour said that the meeting was held with several environmental and civil administration officials including Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz in the ministry's headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Mtour said that the Palestinian side presented environmental issues they face during the course of the meeting.
Landfills in Ramallah, al-Bireh, and near Bethlehem were discussed in addition to freedom of movement, infrastructure and development projects in Area C and the health hazards caused by settlement factories near Tulkarem.
Mtour added that a major topic was the Israeli authorities' refusal to allow Palestinians to dispose of waste in a landfill southeast of Bethlehem which was intended to dispose of the waste of the southern West Bank's 800,000 inhabitants, and was built with World Bank funding.
Israeli authorities have previously conditioned Palestinian usage on the right of Israeli settlers to use it as well, despite the fact that settlers have access to landfills inside Israel off-limits to Palestinians.
Peretz promised to study the demands and was positive about the issue, Mtour said.
Further meetings will be held in any urgent cases, Mtour added, and he denied the formation of any joint Palestinian-Israeli commission on the issue.