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Malfunction in Haifa Refinery Causes Environmental Pollution, Triggers Protests

Technical failure at a refinery complex in Haifa and a subsequent rise in emissions of carcinogen -an agent with the capacity to cause cancer in humans- in the occupied Palestinian territories has forced the Zionist regime’s ministry of energy to refuse permission for drilling.

The Oil Refineries Haifa Group (Bazan) reported a malfunction in one of its refineries on August 27.

The malfunction has sparked protests from the local residents who have released the data about a rise in toxic emissions measured by the Environmental Protection Union in Haifa.

Following the incident, a team representing the union visited the Gadiv petrochemical plant of the Bazan Group and detected a malfunction in the forebay of the complex.

The plant’s move to hide the truth has concerned the ordinary people and officials, such as Sarit Golan, an attorney and chairwoman of the Haifa Association of Cities and the Environment.

She said the plant staff have disclosed the malfunction only after the inspectors of the association visited the refinery.

The scandal has triggered debates among the Zionist regime’s institutions.

The Globes reported on August 30 that even the lockdowns that reduced road traffic and industrial activities have not reduced the release of carcinogens into the air across the occupied territories.

Emissions of materials known or suspected to be carcinogenic rose by 14% in 2020, according the registry of emissions into the environment published by the ministry of environmental protection. The rise is mainly attributed to new sources of benzene emissions discovered at various plants.

The report also states that emissions by factories into the air, sea, rivers and land as a result of breakdowns have risen by 330% since 2012.

Meanwhile, the Zionist regime’s minister of energy Karine Elharrar, representing Yesh Atid party, said on August 31 that no more permission would be granted for oil exploration and extraction.

She has described the drilling activities for oil extraction as a factor behind environmental pollution, calling for new energy resources with minimum pollution.

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