BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian contractor was hired to dump chemical waste from Israeli factories in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the governor said Sunday.

The issue arose in November, when Palestinian Authority security forces seized a truckload of chemical waste originating from Israeli factories. The waste was examined in PA laboratories and found to be hazardous.

Talal Dweikat, speaking on Ma’an radio, said PA forces were put on alert to seize any trucks transferring waste to Tulkarem. Security officials arrested a driver carrying chemical materials to be dumped in the grounds of Khaduri University, he said, adding that the driver was transferred to the general attorney for prosecution.

University President Daoud Az-Za’tery said Khaduri had started to hold awareness courses to educate students on the hazardous materials. The university was producing brochures about the issue, and would inform human rights organizations, ambassadors and consulates as part of a campaign to raise awareness, he said.

In coordination with security departments, the university administration had intensified efforts to monitor vehicles entering university grounds, Az-Za’tery said, adding that a new fence was planned.

Both officials were hosted on Ma’an’s radio program “On The Table” after the show received many complaints from residents of Tulkarem concerned about chemical waste emanating from Israeli factories in the area.