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Behind the Veil: Prince Abdullah's Vision Of Peace

Behind The Veil of Saudi Arabia

Prince Abdullah's Statement Of Vision Will Hopefully Stem Tragic Loss Of Lives

By Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed

As more time passes and Israel encroaches on more and more Palestinian autonomous territory, the Palestinian "stateless" people suffer more and more, and become more frantic and desperate.

Through this comes Saudi Arabian Prince Abdullah's wise words to the Arab World offering to recognise Israel's right to exist, and normalisation of relations if Israel pulls back to pre 1967 boundaries. It is like a breath of fresh air. Even the fact that other Arabs countries agree together on this is exciting and optimistic news.

If peacekeepers are introduced, something Saudi Arabia has been in favour of for a long time, violence will surely be reduced. The Tenet and Mitchell plans are a good foundation for peace. Maybe with Prince Abdullah's words of incentive, things will progress and resolve better than before.

If the Palestinians can have their own state next to their Israeli cousins, maybe other problems can also be dealt with more justly. One that has recently come to our attention is that of putting Palestinian lives at risk through an unusual way- that of toxic waste disposal.

Granted, it is much cheaper to have a Palestinian hauler take the barrels away and bury them for $25 than to have it treated at the national environment waste treatment facility for $2000. The Palestinian minister for the environment Dr. Yousef Abu Safiyya said 29 barrels of toxic waste were discovered in Khan Yunis refugee camp.

Analysis of the contents of the tanks showed they were from Jewish settlement. Also discovered were hundreds of barrels in the north of the West Bank, disposed of over the last two years, and 223 in Jenin.

Under the Basil Treaty movement of toxic waste material is regulated, but the Israeli Minister of the Environment says it doesn't apply to Palestine because there is no official state.

Some of the waste is by products from the Israeli military, and some is radioactive chemicals that damage the environment and cause cancer. Thirty chemicals have been identified so far, said Abu Safiyya.

Diamond Nuclear Station has aging reactors and gives off damaging pollutants.

Satellite pictures show that the protective walls of the reactors have been eaten into, which means if dangerous substances leak into the atmosphere, Palestinians would be most at risk, because they have no protective capabilities to live near these dangerous poisons.

In addition, there have been tests and experiments at the Diamond nuclear station, probably with nuclear testing, as earth tremors are experienced in the area, and the desert.

Countries that test usually do so in remote regions, but Palestine is too small for this. Obviously Israel values Palestinian lives much less than their own to believe protective waste disposal is not required or necessary around Palestinians.

All are hoping and praying that with Palestinian statehood will come not only better relations between the neighboring states, but more respect and regard for their humanity, as we are all children of Abraham, and deserved to be treated as relatives not enemies.

(Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed is an Oregonian American married to a Saudi who converted to Islam in l977 and has lived in Saudi Arabia since l985.)

© Scoop Media

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