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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.


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
Name of conflict:Israeli stone quarrying in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
State or province:West Bank
Location of conflict:Beit 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 commodities:Cement
Project Details and Actors
Project details

There have been 11 licenses issued to Israeli quarries to operate in the West Bank.

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Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1994
Company names or state enterprises:CEMEX from Mexico
HedeilbergCement from Germany
Hanson from Israel - Local Subsidiary of HeidelbergCement
Readymix Industries from Israel - Local subsidiary of CEMEX
Relevant government actors:Israeli Occupying Forces
International and Finance InstitutionsUnited Nations General Assembly (UN)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Al Haq
Yesh Din
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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
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-economical 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
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Withdrawal of company/investment
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Who Profits. “Cemex’s New West Bank Policy: Drops Mining Activity, Continues Production in Settlements”(Sep, 2015).
[click to view]

[2] Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. “CEMEX Response (unofficial translation by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre”. (9 Sep. 2015)
[click to view]

[3] Human Rights Watch, 'Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights' (Report, 2016)
[click to view]

[4] Readymix. 'The Group’s Location'.
[click to view]

[5] Readymix Industries Ltd. “Finding the Nearest Plant”.
[click to view]

[6] Reuters - HeidelbergCement searching for new site for West Bank quarry, May 4, 2016
[click to view]

[7]Israeli Court Rejects Bid to Close Palestinian Quarries for Environmental Reasons, Haaretz, June 24, 2016
[click to view]

[8] Israeli companies can profit from West Bank resources, court rules, The Guardian, Jan 3. 2012
[click to view]

[9] UN adopts resolution on Palestinian sovereignty over natural resources, Ma'an News Agency, Dec. 23, 2015
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Al-Haq, 'Facts on the Ground' (Campaign)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Al-Haq Organization, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2637
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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