Toxic Occupation: Leveraging the Basel Convention in Palestine
Reports by UN-affiliated institutions, human rights organizations, academic researchers, and individual community members, as well as Palestine’s Environment Quality Authority (EQA), point to the continuing transfer to the West Bank of hazardous wastes from inside Israel, and by illegal Israeli settlement industries operating in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Such transfers occur in contravention of the Geneva Conventions and of binding multilateral environmental agreements such as the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, to which both Israel and Palestine are party. This article argues that despite inherent limitations, there are opportunities for leveraging the Basel Convention to hold accountable perpetrators, given the severe environmental, health, and human rights consequences of the uncontrolled movement and disposal of waste on the Palestinian population in the oPt. To date, such opportunities have remained largely unexplored both in academia and by broader sectors of civil society.