The Israeli army’s civil administration in the occupied West Bank has repeatedly violated the Oslo Accords in recent months by carrying out various work in areas supposedly under the control of the Palestinian Authority, Haaretz has reported. The newspaper said that the Israeli authorities have evacuated Palestinian facilities in so-called Area B in the West Bank, which falls under PA civilian control and Israeli military control.
The Israeli authorities justify their permanent violations of the Oslo Accords by arguing that the Palestinians are not committed to applying the law to areas under PA control.
“Israel’s action in Area B is being carried out for the first time in years to protect the environment by evacuating installations that represent environmental damage to nature,” said one Israeli source. “This was done with the approval of the Israeli government’s legal advisor.”
However, according to Israeli expert on urban planning Alon Cohen-Lifshitz, while the civil administration works within the Palestinian areas using the justification of preserving the environment, it refrains from exercising its influence in the Israeli settlements and army camps in the West Bank.
“The civil administration fails to enforce the law in all areas under its control to the point of allowing the settlements, the army and the rest of the Israeli authorities in the West Bank to harm the environment severely,” he explained. “This gives cover to those who violate environmental law as in the case of Nitzanei Shalom industrial zone next to Tulkarem, where factories are polluting the environment without any supervision or permission.”
The Oslo Agreement signed in 1993 between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel provided for the division of the West Bank into three areas: Area A is under full Palestinian control; Area B is under PA civilian control and Israeli security control; and Area C is under the full control of the Israeli government.