The Green Israel Forum on Sunday filed a class action suit with the District Court in Jerusalem together with residents from the communities of Shekef and Negohot near Kiryat Gat, Israel, against an Israeli company responsible for waste recycling and environmental protection.
The lawsuit is in response to a string of huge fires resulting from the burning of electronic waste in two Arab villages just across the green line border from the Jewish communities (see: Smoke Cloud from Arab Villages’ Electronic Waste Fires Hangs over Moshav Shekef).
The class action suit was filed against Ecommunity, a social corporation for waste recycling and protection of the ecology,and its subsidiary, following an investigation by the Green Israel Forum, supported by documents and photographs, claiming that the corporation is the source of the pollutants.
The forum claims that its investigators followed vehicles associated with Ecommunity taking pictures of their actions and documenting the path of electronic waste from the ecological facility to the Arab villages where they are being burned.
According to the suit, the smoke is caused by the almost daily fires set by the Arab villagers, to illegally remove the metals from the electronic waste. The heavy, black smoke reaches the nearby Jewish communities of Shekaf, Eliav, Bnei Dekalim, Amatzia, Carmi Katif, Neta, Adora and Negohot and severely harms the health of local residents.
In the claim, the plaintiffs requested compensation of 5,000 shekel ($1,400) for each of the 42,000 residents of the communities in the area, which adds up to a total of 210 million shekel ($60 million).
The lawsuit suggests that had Ecomunity behaved in a reasonable professional manner, the damage to the health of the plaintiffs would have been significantly reduced. As things stand now, plaintiffs are exposed to the ravages of smoke inhalation, inhalation of hazardous substances, bad odors and air pollution, which may cause severe suffering, including the risk of serious illnesses, breathing difficulties, disturbing coughs, and sneezing attacks, besides harm to the quality of life.