20 Sep 2008 ManUni Action Palestine
Friday September 19, 2008 06:09
by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News
The timing of an Israeli contractor’s approval by the Israeli government to construct a dump for Israeli garbage on Palestinian land in Nablus coincides with a major archaeological discovery in the area.
The Israeli government did not respond to questions about its approval of the 20-year permit on the same day that an announcement was made of an important Roman-era archaeological discovery in the area. The archaeological discovery consists of a large water cistern, which connects to a tunnel to the Roman city of Neapolis. In the middle of the cistern is a set of spiral stairs. Palestinian archaeologists say that the find dates from the Roman era, at least 2,000 years ago. The cistern and tunnel may be connected to other, unknown ruins from that era under the city of Nablus.
But while Palestinian archaeologists rush to uncover the latest discovery, an Israeli contractor has been approved to begin constructing a massive dump nearby, which will make impossible any more archaeological work in the area.
Attempts by local Nablus officials to retain control of their own municipality have been repeatedly undermined by Israeli military occupying forces, which hold control of the Palestinian territories by military force since 1967, violating their duties as an occupying power on a daily basis.
Israeli occupying authorities issue permits to their own citizens to construct Israeli-only settlements, factories and other enterprises on land seized illegally (under international law) from the indigenous Palestinian population.
Now, in what locals say is a blatant example of the Israeli abuse of their occupying authority, they have issued a permit for an Israeli contractor to dump Israeli garbage on a historically rich and archaeologically valuable area of Palestinian land.
Environmentalists and Palestinian Authority officials voiced their dismay at the approval of the landfill, and plan to file a lawsuit with the Israeli High Court. Palestinians, even Palestinian Authority officials, are not allowed to file cases directly with the court, but must use Israeli lawyers inside Israel to act on their behalf.
Author email: saed at imemc dot org
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