A reader writes: “I worked in Tulkarem where this factory is located and know at first hand its toxic effects on people living around there, particularly on children”. She sent a link to one of Avaaz’ campaigns.
An online search reveals a number of serious health threats from the eleven Israeli chemical plants established in this Palestinian city in the West Bank, between 1985 and 2007 – the first was relocated from Netanya in Israel after being shut down by an Israeli court ruling following legal action filed by local residents to stop the pollution it was creating.
Over and above the corporate occupation and loss of land, the development of this industrial zone is seriously damaging the health of the local population and environment. The constant cloud of dust and gases in the atmosphere is the direct cause of the eye infections, as well as skin and respiratory ailments that have been widely affecting local residents.
Elementary students are falling ill with respiratory diseases, poisoned with toxic chemicals from Israel’s chemical factories located near their school. Avaaz campaigners are hoping to get the European Union to act, shut this factory, and save these children.
The pollution emitted by Israel’s chemical plants has turned Tulkarem’s eastern Palestinian neighbourhoods into sick ghost towns. One of the Israeli company’s biggest markets is the EU which has stricter environmental regulations, it is hoped that public and media pressure can persuade key decision-makers to impose a ban on these chemical products, paving the way for the closure of the factories.