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Sewage floods in Hebron city, West Bank


During rainstorms the Old City of Hebron is flooded due to the closing of drainage channels by the Israeli settlers, who have also forbidden the Hebron Municipality from improving the existing infrastructure. The last flood happened in March 2014, when a meter of thick mud and 1.5 meters of dirty water overwhelmed local shops, with more than half of the stock in the shops being affected. It has been considered a consequence of the lack of adequate infrastructure, also compounded by the presence of roadblocks, placed by Israeli forces to control Palestinian pedestrian movement in the area, which also leads to impede the flow of storm water.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Sewage floods in Hebron city, West Bank
State or province:Hebron/Al-Khalīl
Location of conflict:Hebron/Al-Khalīl
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Water
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:Overall population of Hebron 160.000
Start of the conflict:25/02/1994
Relevant government actors:Hebron Governorate
Israeli Defense Forces
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Hebron Rehabilitation Committee
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Wastepickers, recyclers
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Recreational users
Religious groups
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Property damage/arson
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Proposal and development of alternatives:The solution to this problem should be first to lift the concrete slabs and release flooding, removed the concrete to prevent the passage of water to the old city Souq. Alternatively, holes in the iron barrier built by the Occupation by the Souq should be opened. These actions should also be supported by building water infrastructure and the reparation of damaged or polluted wells.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Currently the Old City of Hebron is considered as a "Ghost Town". Business are closed and the limits of movement imposed by the Israel Defense Forces and the clashes with settlers together with their control over the existing water drainage channels made the situation in the Old City have an overall negative impact over the environment, health and economy of the people living and working in the Old City of Hebron.
Sources & Materials

Walls and winter rains afflict Palestinian towns

By Noah Browning
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Women in Hebron Group. Pictures about the floods in Hebron Old City March 2014
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Jesus Marcos Gamero. Environmental Justice in Palestine Project. AlHaq / Heinrich Boll
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1675
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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