Occupational Hazards The Eco-politics of the Israeli Occupation

Flash report | May 2017

In this flash report, Who Profits presents six waste and recycling management companies that operate facilities in the occupied West Bank. These companies enjoy an environmentally-friendly and clean image while exploiting Palestinian natural resources, taking advantage of the area’s lax environmental regulations and creating pollution in the West Bank.

While administrating Israeli control over the Palestinian occupied territory, the establishment of numerous settlements and the abuse of Palestinian natural resources, Israeli governments did not consider the horrific environmental effects of this prolonged occupation.

Unlike Israeli residents and municipalities within the Green Line, which must comply with over 200 environmental protection laws, Israeli settlers and settlements’ authorities are only obliged to comply with a few military warrants addressing the issue of the environment. Environmental legislation in the West Bank area only deals with infrastructure, waste, parks and antiquities, and those are outdated and do not address the environmental needs of the area. [1]

Waste in the West Bank area is not being disposed properly and untreated sewage from the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem floats to West Bank streams and contaminates them. [2] Quarrying in the West Bank is one of the most problematic issues of the abuse of natural resources and it also harms the environment by creating air pollution, noise and land pollution, problematic waste disposal, dust, etc. [3] Quarrying continues to destroy and exploit the natural resources of the Palestinians for the sole benefit of Israeli citizens. [4]

The Israeli authorities established huge Industrial Zones in the West Bank that pollute the air, the water and the land. The state of Israel continues to expand its current Industrial Zones in the West Bank and to establish dozens of additional commercial areas. These areas include heavily polluting factories such as metal coasters factories, plastic, etc. [5]

This update will not elaborate further on the environmental hazards stemming from the settlement enterprise. Rather, it will introduce the case studies of six Israeli companies that are profiting from the continued environmental damage through recycling and waste management, as well as that of an industrial park in the West Bank, Shahak Industrial Park. These companies are: T.M.M Recycling Industries (Tovlan), Compost Or, Greennet Recycling & Waste Treatment, All Recycling (of the All Trade/Reichman Group), Green Oil and Tyrec.

All of the companies presented in this update operate facilities in West Bank settlements. They enjoy the conditions of this less-regulated area in terms of environmental hazards, which enables them to recycle without complying with very strict environmental laws, as well as the subsidies and tax exemptions granted to them by the local councils of the settlements and by the State of Israel. These companies provide transportation and recycling services and also market the recycled products, thus making additional profits from the pollution of an occupied area. These companies enjoy a clean image of environmentalists while in reality exploiting Palestinian natural resources and creating additional pollution in the West Bank. Their “green” activity solely benefits Israeli citizens, authorities and corporations in the Israeli settlements and within the green line.

 

1. T.M.M Recycling Industries – Tovlan Landfill

An Israeli company that operates Tovlan landfill in the occupied territory.

The Tovlan landfill, which is located in the northern Jordan Valley, between the Israeli settlements of Masu’a and Yafit, is the biggest waste management site beyond the Green Line. [6]

The waste transferred to the Tovlan landfill originates from recycling factories within Israel and from settlements in the West Bank. Hence, the company exploits the natural resources of the occupied territory for the needs of Israeli citizens on both sides of the Green Line. The Tovlan landfill’s area includes a compost site operated by Amnir.

As of January 2017, the company that operated Tovlan landfill was T.M.M Integrated Recycling Industries, owned by Poalim Trust Services, a subsidiary of Hapoalim bank. The company was formerly owned by the international company Veolia Environmental Services Israel.

Revenues (2015): NIS 540 million.

Head Office: Aba Even 1, Hertzlia, Israel
Tel: +972-9-9520022

 

2. Compost Or

An Israeli compost[7] company.

Compost Or operates Masu’a compost site next to the Masu’a settlement and the Tovlan landfill.

The site, which was built on a land of 140,000m², collects half of the Sewage sludge from some 25 waste purification facilities in Israel. The company operates a transportation company which collects the sludge from these facilities and delivers them to the Masu’a site in the West Bank. The waste is then turned into agricultural fertilizers. [8]

Sites of this kind create smell pollution and therefor hardly exists within the Green Line. [9]

The site is privately owned and managed by Ya’akov Avraham, Daniel Unger and David Reiner, the owners of Compost Or.

In recent years, Compost Or had been advancing a plan (submitted to the Civil Administration in the West Bank) to establish a recycling compound in the Jordan Valley, which will include a closed compost facility to treat households organic garbage. The factory will produce gas from the waste, which will be used for the production of green electricity. The process will also produce high quality organic compost for agricultual use. [10]

Additionally, the company is providing specialized compost for tomato crops in the settlement of Na’ama and for grapevines vineyard of Barkan Wineries in the Mevo Horon settlement. Compost Or is extremely proud of this “Premium Compost” project, in which it takes part by allocating the fertilizers in different and more efficient ways.

The company also participates in and organizes agricultural experiments in the occupied Jordan Valley together with the research and development center of this occupied area. Compost Or also conducts continued research work at a farm in the settlement of Gilgal.

In 2013, Compost Or purchased Volvo’s heavy loaders for its compost site in Masu’a through Mayer’s Cars and Trucks, the exclusive Israeli representative of the Volvo Group. According to an article on the subject, the Volvo group is well aware of the fact that their products will be used in the OPT. [11] Throughout the years, Compost Or has been using mostly Volvo’s heavy vehicles. [12]

Head office: Masua 90690, Occupied Palestinian Territory
Tel: +972-2-5835344
Website: www.compostor.co.il

 

3. Greennet Recycling and Waste Treatment

The Israeli company Greennet established and operates a waste management facility in the Atarot Industrial Zone in the occupied East Jerusalem. The factory, which was established on a land of 22 dunams (22,000 m²), processes 1,500 tons of urban waste in a day. The facility is intended to handle half of the waste of Jerusalem, which is then transferred to recycling. [13]

The factory was planned by the German company Sutco Recycling Technik. The factory also includes systems by the company Tomra. [14]

Greennet Recycling & Waste Treatment is part of the Teco Group, which is linked to the establishment of the facility in the Atarot I.Z. [15]

Leumi bank provided the company with a loan in 2013, in the terms of which the company’s factory in Atarot is used as collateral.

Greennet is owned by Israeli privately owned group Ya’akobi Brothers.

Revenues: NIS 100 milion in 2015

Head Office: Atarot 26, Jerusalem 97800, Occupied Palestinian Territory
Tel: +972-2-6503629
Website: www.greennet.co.il

 

4. All Recycling (of the All Trade/Reichman Group)

An Israeli company for recycling of electronic waste.

All Recycling is a subsidiary of the All Trade/Reichman Group, which specializes in providing and renting computer and software components and equipment.

In 2013, the company established a factory for electronic waste disposal and recycling at a cost of NIS 40 million in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the West Bank. [16] Leumi bank accompanied this construction project, and the land and project were provided as collateral to the bank in 2012.

The factory provides services to local authorities and manufacturers in Israel and in the settlements and the company is currently the only one in Israel to fully handle electronic waste. [17]

On its website, the company declares itself a green and environmentally-friendly company. [18] Yet its factory is located in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the West Bank, one of the biggest Industrial Zones in Israel with some 150 factories, some of which cause heavy environmental pollution. [19]

All Recycling is a fully owned subsidiary of All In Trade Israel (also called All Trade or the Riechman Group), which is owned by Oded Reichman (some 75%) and Ran Nachom Tshuva.

The company operates AllTrade Direct as a subsidiary.

Revenues: NIS 100 million in 2015 (not including the profits made from the recycling factory)

Head Office: 2 Habarzel St., Tel Aviv 6971002, Israel
Tel: +972-73-2633333
Website: www.alltrade.co.il

Barkan facility, logistic center and labs: Rehavam Ze’evi 4, Barkan Industrial Zone
Tel: +972-72-2577291

 

5. Green Oil Energy

An Israeli company for recycling industrial oils.

The company operates an oil recycling facility in the industrial zone of the Ariel West settlement. Green Oil’s factory receives used oil from Israel proper as well as from West Bank settlements. It recycles the used oil and turns it into diesel fuel.

The operation of the Green Oil factory causes smell pollution. The Municipal Environmental Association of Judea and Samaria (the environmental arm of the Israeli authorities in the occupied Palestinian Territory) had received many complaints regarding smell nuisance from the work of the factory. [20] These complaints were of course received from Israeli settlers and there is no one accountable for the pollution suffered by the Palestinian residents in the area. Due to the long history of smell nuisance, the company’s factory is under special monitoring of the association. [21]

The company is owned by Rimon Shamay (29.65%), David Kogen (trustee) (60.2), Arie Nisim (5.89%) and G.L.A Trustees 102 (4.25%).

Head office: Ariel West Industrial Zone, P.O.Box 1855 Ariel, 4070000

Tel: +972-3-9366085

 

6. Tyrec

An Israeli company for recycling tires.

Tyrec operates the biggest facility in Israel for the recycling of tires, located in the Shahak (Shaked) Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank.

The company collects used oil from over 700 garages in Israel and in the West Bank. The company’s factory processes 8 tons of tires waste in one hour and produces rubber flakes from which the company manufactures different rubber products it markets to different industries, such as stepping surfaces, traffic equipment, etc. [22] These products are used in an Israeli army base inside the green line. [23]

The company’s factory in the Shahak Industrial Zone was used as collateral for a loan that Igud bank provided the company in 2010.

Tyrec is owned by M.R.S Taro Holdings (94.7%). The remaining percentage is divided between: H.I.N Holdings and Management (2008), Shosh Cohen, Zvi Cohen Ecologia (which is owned by Zvi and Shoshana Cohen) and Hadija Abdalkarim Development and Investments.

M.R.S Taro Holdings is owned by Proteus Holdings (31.5%) and Ronen Itzhaki Bronze and Aluminum Foundry (15.2%). 50% of the company is registered under the ownership of Taros International Foreign Company, which is the former name of M.R.S Taro Holdings.

Head office: Shahak Industrial Park, Katzir-Harish 37861, Occupied Palestinian Territory
P.O.Box 10 Doar Na Menashe, 37262
Tel: +972-4-6350550
Website: www.tyrec.com

 

Shahak Industry Park

Shahak Industry Park (Formerely Shaked Industry Park) was established in 1998 on 8,000 Dunams (8 km²) of land, 3,000 dunams of which are used for industrial structures. [24] Currently, the Industry Park encompasses some 23 factories and employs about 400 persons, mainly from Israeli cities within the green line. The Industrial Zone is constantly under construction[25] and new lands for factories are being marketed. [26]

Shahak Industry Park is located in the northern West Bank, near the settlements of Shaked, Hinanit and Tal Menashe. It is also located near Reihan forest, an Israeli touristic site which borders the Palestinian village Umm el Rihan and the Palestinian city Tura Al-Gharbiyya in the south.

As seen above, Tyrec’s formal address, which indicates that it is located in the Shahak Industrial Park, refers to two cities within Israel – Katzir and Harish – therefor misleading as for the whereabouts of the factory and the Industrial Zone. Furthermore, the fact that the Shahak Industrial Park was established by the regional councils of Shomron (a settlements’ regional council) and the regional council of Katzir-Harish (a non-settlements’ regional council)[27] dissolves the Green Line completely.

This tendency to dissolve the Green Line appears in all publications on Shahak Industry Park, in which there is no indication that the Industrial Zone is located on occupied land. A map of the Shahak Industry park found on the park’s website examplifies this claim.

 


[1] “Legal Study: Environmental legislation in the Judea and Samaria Area” (Hebrew only), March 2014, Bar-Ilan University Law School, The Clinic for Environmental Practice and Policy, Green Now NGO.
[2] For example, the Kana stream was contaminated by the sewage of the settlements in the area. Turning it into a nature reserve. See: Yoel Ya’kobi, “Quality (of the environment) is not a dirty word” (Hebrew only), Besheva, Vol. 487, 29 March 2012.
[3] Ibid.
[4] See: Israeli quarries in the West Bank, Who Profits, October 2014.
[5] For example, The Barkan Industrial Zone is one of the biggest Industrial Zones in Israel with some 150 factories. One the hill across of Brakan I.Z. lies Ariel West Industrial Zone, which is expanding rapidly. See: Yoel Ya’kobi, “Quality (of the environment) is not a dirty word” (Hebrew only), Besheva, Vol. 487, 29 March 2012.
[6] Yoel Ya’kobi, “Quality (of the environment) is not a dirty word” (Hebrew only), Besheva, Vol. 487, 29 March 2012.
[7] Compost is a process of recycling organic waste and turn it to fertilizers for agricultural use.
[8] Company’s presentation on Masu’a site (Hebrew only); “Sludge Processing 2015” (Hebrew only), The Israeli Ministry of Environmental protection; “The recycling of waste doesn’t stop at the Green Line”, Tzafrir Rinat, Ha’aretz, 24 June 2015.
[9] “The recycling of waste doesn’t stop at the Green Line”, Tzafrir Rinat, Ha’aretz, 24 June 2015.
[10] Company’s presentation on Masu’a site (Hebrew only); “The recycling of waste doesn’t stop at the Green Line”, Tzafrir Rinat, Ha’aretz, 24 June 2015.
[11] Agri-News website, 12 May 2013.
[12] Source is on file with Who profits.
[13] Greennet Recycling & Waste Treatment, tecogroup.com; “The recycling of waste doesn’t stop at the Green Line”, Tzafrir Rinat, Ha’aretz, 24 June 2015.
[14] Greennet Recycling & Waste Treatment, tecogroup.com.
[15] Ibid.
[16] The website of AllRecycling.
[17] Ibid.
[18] The website of AllTrade.
[19] Yoel Ya’kobi, “Quality (of the environment) is not a dirty word” (Hebrew only), Besheva, Vol. 487, 29 March 2012.
[20] The website of The Municipal Environmental Association of Judea and Samaria.
[21] Ibid.
[22] Tyrec website.
[23] Tyrec Catalog 2017.
[24] The website of the Shahak Industry Park.
[25] The website of the Shomron Regional Council.
[26]“From the signs of the Boycott: The Judea and Samaria Industrial Zones are in High Demand” (Hebrew only), Bat El Binyamin, Channel 20 news website, 5 January 2015.
[27] The Israeli Ministry of Industry also participated in the establishment of the Industrial Zone. 


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