The West Bank is facing a boom. Settlers from Israel just celebrated living in the West Bank for 40 years, but there are still a lot of issues occurring that are overlooked. A building boom is occurring, and the nearly 20,000 residents are experiencing the boom from all angles.
New hospitals are being built (with one being built in eastern Ariel), a new shopping mall is being built, and another 800+ housing unit is also being built.
The development of the West Bank is taking place, and the locals are attributing much of the construction to US President Donald Trump. Years of stagnation occurred during the Obama Administration, but under the Trump Administration, things are starting to improve in the area.
Some residents are sure that the population of Ariel will swell to 100,000 residents in the next 15 years.
There’s always going to be dismay in the West Bank, and it’s a topic that I would rather not discuss. But I do want to discuss some of the issues that the area is facing as the boom in construction continues to grow.
Criticism continues to grow as Israel moves further into the West Bank, and a decision by the Supreme Court to demolish a Bedouin village in the West Bank is going to make matters worse. Palestinians are rallying, and international criticism over the decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar is rising.
To be fair, Israel has offered to resettle all of the residents to a place 7.5 miles away.
Critics claim that Israel has decided to demolish the encampment so that an Israeli settlement can be built on the spot. Israeli courts claim that there is no question of the illegality of the site.
Whether or not an Israeli settlement is placed on the site of the settlement is unknown.
What we’re seeing is that infrastructure may not be able to keep up with the rise in construction. Waste is becoming a major concern, and it’s a concern that has existed for years. Ariel has been blamed for waste that is flowing into Salfit, an area that was once a popular destination for families.
Picnicking near the flowing stream and hiking in the area was popular, but you wouldn’t know it today with the sewage flowing into the valley. Locals are concerned that the Ariel settlement will continue to produce waste that will flow into the area. Questions still remain of the impact this waste will have on the future of residents.
The West Bank has over 83 million cubic meters of wastewater flow through the area, and 19 million cubic meters is said to have originated in Israeli settlements. Reports indicate that about 12% of settlement sewage remains untreated, and this sewage is making its way into streams, impacting all of the communities that surround the area.
Restrictions on Palestinian development in the West Bank have stifled attempts to create a wastewater treatment facility. The issue is one that is going to impact both Palestine and Israel if it’s not corrected. Issues aside, wastewater should not be allowed to flow into the streams, impacting communities and forcing many to have to move in the process.
As Ariel continues to grow, the problem of waste will need to be tacked – hopefully sooner, rather than later.