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Affidavit No. 5003/2009

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected to penal action, I, the undersigned, ‘Ali Muhammad Taha Fannoun, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 973722515, born in 1945, a worker and a resident of Nahhalin village, Bethlehem governorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of the village of Nahhalin, 15 kilometres west of the city of Bethlehem. For a while, I have been interested in following up on issues of land and anti-settlement activities in Nahhalin. I have also become a member on a relevant committee that coordinates such activities with the Nahhalin Village Council.

The village of Nahhalin suffers pollution from wastewater discharged from the settlement of Beitar ‘Ilit on the village’s land. The settlement of Beitar ‘Ilit was constructed in early 1980s. Now, it extends over a large area of land, including 1,000 dunums belonging to the village of Nahhalin (to the west). Thousands of Israeli settlers live in the settlement. Since 1986, wastewater has been discharged from the settlement on to Nahhalin’s land.

Since 2005, I have been monitoring this issue. Three pump stations inside the settlement discharge wastewater through pipes measuring approximately 24 inches in diameter into the areas of ‘Ein Fares, Wadi Sakran and Wadi al-Hala.

The settlement of Beitar ‘Ilit is located at a distance of 100 metres from the ‘Ein Fares spring, a primary water source in the village of Nahhalin. Wastewater pump stations are installed at the settlement’s wall and pour into the spring. Pump stations discharge wastewater for a period ranging from three to 12 hours two or three times per month. The wastewater current usually extends for a kilometre and a half in length in the midst of farmland, contaminating all agricultural crops as well as ‘Ein Fares spring. The spring has now been polluted. Even animals do not drink from it. (The ‘Ein Fares spring used to produce 100 cubic metres of water a day and was an essential water source for the village.)

We have been suffering from this problem since 2005. We have also filed complaints to all respective authorities, including the Israeli Civil Administration in the settlement of Kfar ‘Etzion, the District Coordination Office, B’Tselem and Palestinian National Authority. All of this was to no avail, however.

In 2009, settlers continued to discharge wastewater at a similar pace – once or twice a month. In June 2009, wastewater was released on two occasions. I estimate that approximately 70 dunums of land were contaminated by wastewater. Therefore, the village residents had to uproot crops, including vegetables, grapevines and olive trees, rendering the whole area wasteland.

I personally follow up on this issue. From time to time, I visit the ‘Ein Fares spring in order to examine it.

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 5003/2009
  • Field researcher: Ziad Hmeidan
  • Affidavit Date: 5 July 2009
  • Name: ‘Ali Muhammad Taha Fannoun
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