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A Stream is Born: Massive Ecological Damage Caused by Untreated Sewage on Route 465

Untreated sewage sourced in the Arab villages in the Bir Zeit area has been flowing for months into the adjacent valley, causing massive pollution and serious health hazards. Regavim demands that the Ministries of Defense and Environmental Protection take immediate action.

Anyone travelling along Route 465 – The Trans-Binyamin Highway – near the city of Rawabi and the community of Ateret, can’t avoid the stench of sewage that engulfs the entire area.

For quite some time now, raw sewage has been flowing freely only a few meters from the highway, emptying into nearby Wadi Hamam.

The source of the sewage is the one or more of the Arab villages adjacent to the highway: Yabrud and Jifna, or Bir Zeit, home to the 15,000 students of Bir Zeit University.

The untreated waste flows along a channel several kilometers long, causing a host of environmental woes along its path: Foul odors, mosquito infestation, severe ecological damage, and a staggering array of health hazards.
Regavim issued an urgent communication to the Civil Administration, to Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman (whose office is responsible for the Civil Administration), and to Minister of Environmental Protection Zeev Elkin, demanding that they take action.

“We at Regavim are saddened to find that once again, we are fighting this battle alone. There is no shortage of organizations that claim to defend the environment or the rights of those affected by this criminal abuse of nature, but these organizations continue to turn a blind eye to ecological hazards that are politically ‘inconvenient,'” says Yishai Hemo, Regavim’s Field Coordinator for Judea and Samaria. “We demand that the authorities take action to reverse the damage and restore the area’s ecology. Furthermore, we demand that the perpetrators of this crime be held criminally responsible.”A Stream is Born-Untreated Sewage in Wadi Hamam