UAWC Statement on World Environment Day

A statement issued by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees On the occasion of World Environment Day and the anniversary of the 1967 occupation

(Ramallah, June 5, 2016) – Coinciding with the 49th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sinai, and the Golan Heights, the World today reviving the World Environment Day; World Environment Day was first established to be celebrated every year by running some effective campaigns by the United Nations General Assembly and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the conference on Human Environment in Swedish capital Stockholm in 1972.

The World Environment Day works as true inspiration for many countries, institutions and individuals around the world to start true activities to prevent the escalation of damage to the natural systems. In essence, the United Nations used to revive the World Environment Day under a slogan that works as a central theme of all conferences, seminars and workshops that concerned about creating a suitable world for the Human.

Since 1967, the Palestinian environment has suffered from numerous problems due to the occupation’s violations starting from its confiscation of the Palestinian land and depriving its original owners to control their own natural resources, to their theft of more than 85% of our water sources, which led to the decline of the Palestinian person’s share to less than 90m3 per year, in addition to the contamination of our groundwater with waste water. As well as, the Israeli occupation continue with their violent attacks against our environment through their depletion of our natural resources, uprooting our trees, and disposal of their factories’ chemical wastes in our lands causing a huge disasters to people’s health and the environment’s biodiversity. All these violations combined with the Israeli occupation’s prevention of the establishment of healthy landfills, and their establishment of the apartheid wall which swallowing further Palestinian lands and natural resources.

The Israeli occupation has converted our land to an inappropriate place for human life that lacks the most basic necessities of clean, healthy life. Just one example that perfectly reflects the extent of the Israeli occupation’s damage to our environmental system is its establishment of eight factories surrounding the governorate of Tulkarem causing a huge damage to the environment.

The Union of Agricultural Work committees would convey its greetings to all of its friends and activists around the world participating in the commemoration of the World Environment Day; we believe that the constant Israeli occupation of our land will remain an obstacle in the face of our enjoyment of our natural resources, particularly our land and water resources as well as our enjoyment of a clean environment that are free from air, water, and land pollution caused by the Israeli settlers.

We believe that the free world people support of our right of return and self-determination is the first step to address the environmental risks that faced our people and environment.

We also believe that the reactivation of the international support for our national rights is highly connected with the Palestinian internals’ will to put an end to the internal division and prioritize the national liberation project in the face of Israeli occupation who deprived us from living in free and clean environment.

5th June 2016

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