Before The Next Disaster: Dangerous Sites in East Jerusalem
An ACRI field worker recently led a tour in Beit Hanina and other neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Not far from the water basin in which a young boy, Qais Abu Ramila, drowned last weekend, the field worker encountered a broad and deep sewage basin, completely exposed, just off of a dirt road that connects between the neighborhood’s residential areas.
This sewage basin is part of a wadi (ravine) into which rainwater and wastewater flow, and wherein the well in which eight-year-old Qais Abu Ramila drowned is located. The sewage starts from the area of a-Ram, on the far side of the northeast part of the separation barrier, and continues until the neighborhood of al-Aqaba in Beit Hanina. The pool itself is located a short distance from family homes. Residents have noted that children and teenagers often play in the area around the sewage basin and along the banks of the wadi.
Furthermore, the tour revealed that mere kilometers north of Beit Hanina, in the neighborhood of Ras Khamis on the other side of the separation barrier, an enormous garbage dump emerged among the homes. This dump is actually a six-meter deep pit, in which scrap metal has been thrown, among other things. The landfill is not fenced in, and one could easily fall into it when it’s dark out or during stormy weather.
One Week After the Tragic Death of Qais: Two More Lethally Dangerous Sites in East Jerusalem
In light of these findings, ACRI appealed to the director of the Jerusalem Municipality demanding that the city take immediate action to locate and secure all dangerous sites in East Jerusalem. ACRI attorney Tal Hassin further clarified in a letter that the local authority is obliged to take care of environmental hazards and ensure that they are removed, especially when they constitute blatant, immediate danger to the lives of residents.
The appeal sent to the Jerusalem Municipality by ACRI (Hebrew), 28.1.2020