Burning Israeli scrap for valuable raw metals is a lethal livelihood for thousands of Palestinians, sending cancer rates skyrocketing in villages near Hebron

By Aaron Boxerman 10 January 2022


BEIT AWWA, West Bank — When Israa’s four-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia, she spent little time wondering why. The answer was all around her: the acrid, toxic smog created by Palestinians burning Israeli electronic waste to extract valuable raw metals.

“There isn’t a house on our street without someone who’s had cancer or passed away,” said Israa, who lives in Beit Awwa, a small town near Hebron. Advertisement

In the rolling hills west of Hebron, Palestinians live amid clouds of billowing black smoke caused by their neighbors setting fire to discarded waste, almost all of it from Israel, in order to glean the prized copper within.

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