Israel Environment Bulletin Winter 1996-5756, Vol. 19, No. 1

ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN INTERIM AGREEMENT ON THE WEST BANK AND THE GAZA STRIP

(Washington, September 28, 1995)

ARTICLE 12

Environmental Protection

A. Transfer of Authority

The Palestinian side and Israel, recognizing the need to protect the environment and to utilize natural resources on a sustainable basis, agreed upon the following:

1. This sphere includes, inter alia, licensing for crafts and industry, and environmental aspects of the following: sewage, solid waste, water, pest control (including anti-malaria activities), pesticides and hazardous substances, planning and zoning, noise control, air pollution, public health, mining and quarrying, landscape preservation and food production.

2. The Israeli side shall transfer to the Palestinian side, and the Palestinian side shall assume, powers and responsibilities in this sphere, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that are presently held by the Israeli side, including powers and responsibilities in Area C which are not related to territory.

In area C, powers and responsibilities in this sphere related to territory

(which only include environmental aspects of sewage, solid waste, pesticides and hazardous substances, planning and zoning, air pollution, mining and quarrying, and landscape preservation) will be transferred gradually to Palestinian jurisdiction that will cover West Bank and Gaza Strip territory except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, during the further redeployment phases, to be completed within 18 months from the date of the inauguration of the Council.

B. Cooperation and Understandings

3. Both sides will strive to utilize and exploit the natural resources, pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, in a manner which shall prevent damage to the environment, and shall take all necessary measures to ensure that activities in their respective areas do not cause damage to the environment of the other side.

4. Each side shall act for the protection of the environment and the prevention of environmental risks, hazards and nuisances including all kinds of soil, water and air pollution.

5. Both sides shall respectively adopt, apply and ensure compliance with internationally recognized standards concerning the following: levels of pollutants discharged through emissions and effluents; acceptable levels of treatment of solid and liquid wastes, and agreed ways and means for disposal of such wastes; the use, handling and transportation (in accordance with the provisions of Article 38 (Transportation) and storage of hazardous substances and wastes (including pesticides, insecticides and herbicides), and standards for the prevention and abatement of noise, odor, pests and other nuisances, which may affect the other side.

6. Each side shall take the necessary and appropriate measures to prevent the uncontrolled discharge of wastewater and/or effluents to water sources, water systems and water bodies, including groundwater, surface water and rivers, which may affect the other side, and to promote the proper treatment of domestic and industrial wastewater, as well as solid and hazardous wastes.

7. Both sides shall ensure that a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) shall be conducted for major development programs, including those related to industrial parks and other programs detailed in Schedule 2.

8. Both sides recognize the importance of establishing new industrial plants in their respective areas within planned and approved industrial zones, subject to the preparation of comprehensive EIAs, and shall endeavor to ensure compliance with the above.

9. Both sides recognize the importance of taking all necessary precautions to prevent water and soil pollution, as well as other safety hazards in their respective areas, as a result of the storage and use of gas and petroleum products, and shall endeavor to ensure compliance with the above.

10. Pending the establishment of appropriate alternative sites by the Palestinian side, disposal of chemical and radioactive wastes will be only to the authorized sites in Israel, in compliance with existing procedures in these sites. The construction, operation and maintenance of the alternative facilities will follow internationally accepted guidelines, and will be implemented pursuant to the preparation of EIAs.

11. Both sides shall cooperate in implementing the ways and means required to prevent noise, dust and other nuisances from quarries, which may affect the other side. To this end the Palestinian side shall take all necessary and appropriate measures, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, against any quarry that does not meet the relevant environmental standards.

12. Both sides recognize the importance of taking all necessary and appropriate measures in their respective areas for the monitoring and control of insect-transmitted diseases including sand flies, anopheles and all other mosquito species, and shall endeavor to ensure compliance with the above.

13. Both sides shall cooperate in implementing internationally accepted principles and standards relating to environmental issues of global concern, such as the protection of the ozone layer.

14. Israel and the Palestinian side shall cooperate in implementing principles and standards, which shall conform with internationally accepted principles and standards, concerning the protection of endangered species and of wild fauna and flora, including restriction of trade, conservation of migratory species of wildlife and preservation of existing forests and nature reserves.

15. Israel and the Palestinian side shall respectively operate an emergency warning system in order to respond to events or accidents which may generate environmental pollution, damage or hazards. A mechanism for mutual notification and coordination in cases of such events or accidents will be established.

16. Recognizing the unsatisfactory situation of the environment in the West Bank, and further recognizing the mutual interest in improving this situation, Israel shall actively assist the Palestinian side, on an ongoing basis, in attaining this goal.

17. Each side shall promote public awareness on environmental issues.

18. Both sides shall work on appropriate measures to combat desertification.

19. Each side shall control and monitor the transfer of pesticides and any internationally banned and restricted chemicals in their respective areas.

20. Each side shall reimburse the other for environmental services granted in the framework of mutually agreed programs.

21. Both sides shall cooperate in the carrying out of environmental studies, including a profile, in the West Bank.

22. For the mutual benefit of both sides, the relevant Israeli authorities and the Palestinian Environmental Protection Authority and/or other relevant Palestinian authorities shall cooperate in different fields in the future.

Both sides will establish an Environmental Experts Committee for environmental cooperation and understandings.

Additional environmental provisions are included in Article 14 (Forests), Article 25 (Nature Reserves), Article 26 (Parks), Article 27 (Planning and Zoning), Article 31 (Quarries and Mines), Article 40 (Water and Sewage). ANNEX VI, the Protocol Concerning Israeli-Palestinian Cooperation Programs relates, inter alia, to cooperation in the protection of the environment.