Israeli stone quarrying in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Cemex, Heidelberg Cement and Israeli quarrying activities in the OPT violate rights and run counter to a United Nations resolution demanding that Israel cease exploitation, damage, depletion and endangerment of Palestinian natural resources.


Description

Stone quarrying is the largest Palestinian export, but it is choked by various Israeli restrictions, including the Israeli Civil Administrations failure to renew or grant new permits for Palestinian quarries in Area C since 1994. On the other hand, Israeli and international corporations, operate thriving quarrying businesses in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).  Cemex, a Mexican corporation, has wholly owned Israeli Readymix Industries since 2005.  Until June 2015, Readymix owned 50% of the shares in Yatir Quarry, located in the occupied West Bank. Cemex has profited from the exploitation of stone resources in the OPT. On 10 June 2015, the Israeli Antitrust Authority approved a request for a merger between Kfar Giladi Quarries and Yatir Quarry and less than a week later Lime & Stone was no longer listed as one of the owners of Yatir Quarry on the Israeli Registrar of Companies. Additionally, through its ownership of Readymix Industries, Cemex supplies building materials for construction of settlements, checkpoints (e.g. Hawara and Azzun-Atma) and for the Annexation Wall (along the Gilo Bridge). Readymix operates three aggregate factories in the illegal Israeli settlements of Mevo Horon, Mishor Adumim, and Atarot.  HeidelbergCement, one of the largest construction materials companies in the world, owns three cement plants and one quarry in the occupied West Bank through its subsidiary Hanson Israel, which it acquired in 2007.

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Basic Data
NameIsraeli stone quarrying in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
CountryPalestine
ProvinceWest Bank
SiteBeit Fajar
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Military installations
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific CommoditiesCement
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThere have been 11 licenses issued to Israeli quarries to operate in the West Bank.

In 2011, the occupation watchdog group "Who Profits" found that 94 percent of the mined materials are transferred to present-day Israel or the settlements, and a portion of the profits are allocated to the Civil Administration, the bureaucracy in charge of the occupation.

According to a Palestinian Authority report on the economic costs of the Israeli occupation published in September, the potential value of production from mining and quarrying in the West Bank under Israeli control is an estimated $900m a year.

Meanwhile it is estimated that the Palestinian operated quarries in Beit Fajar employ 3500 people and is worth $25 million USD per year.
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1994
Company Names or State EnterprisesCEMEX from Mexico
HedeilbergCement from Germany
Hanson from Israel - Local Subsidiary of HeidelbergCement
Readymix Industries from Israel - Local subsidiary of CEMEX
Relevant government actorsIsraeli Occupying Forces
International and Financial InstitutionsUnited Nations General Assembly (UN)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAl Haq http://www.alhaq.org/

Yesh Din http://www.yesh-din.org/en/

B'Tselem http://www.btselem.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingArtisanal miners
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Boycotts of companies-products
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Withdrawal of company/investment
Divestment
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The majority of the West Bank’s stone deposits are in Area C. Israeli and international companies operate quarries there, condoned by Israel in contravention of international law. Palestinian businesses, meanwhile, are systematically denied the opportunity to develop and grow.
Sources and Materials
References

[7]Israeli Court Rejects Bid to Close Palestinian Quarries for Environmental Reasons, Haaretz, June 24, 2016
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[1] Who Profits. “Cemex’s New West Bank Policy: Drops Mining Activity, Continues Production in Settlements”(Sep, 2015).
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[2] Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. “CEMEX Response (unofficial translation by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre”. (9 Sep. 2015)
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[5] Readymix Industries Ltd. “Finding the Nearest Plant”.
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[4] Readymix. 'The Group’s Location'.
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[6] Reuters - HeidelbergCement searching for new site for West Bank quarry, May 4, 2016
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[9] UN adopts resolution on Palestinian sovereignty over natural resources, Ma'an News Agency, Dec. 23, 2015
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[3] Human Rights Watch, 'Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights' (Report, 2016)
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[8] Israeli companies can profit from West Bank resources, court rules, The Guardian, Jan 3. 2012
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Media Links

Al-Haq, 'Facts on the Ground' (Campaign)
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Other Documents

A truck of Readymix supplying concrete to the outpost of Mitzpe Yair | May 2012 | Photographed by Guy from Taayush
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Yatir Quarry | Occupied West Bank | Oct 2008 | Photo by Who Profits
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A Readymix truck on a construction site | Gilo settlement, Occupied East Jerusalem | Jan 2010 | Photo by ActiveStills
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Yatir Quarry | Occupied West Bank | 2011 | Photo by Taayush https://www.whoprofits.org/content/cemex%E2%80%99s-new-west-bank-policy-drops-mining-activity-continues-production-settlements
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Readymix’s factory in the Atarot settlement industrial zone | Jun 2015 | Photo by Who Profits
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Meta Information
ContributorAl-Haq Organization, [email protected]
Last update10/07/2017
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