Israeli waste operators plan to launch the project despite international treaties prohibiting an occupying state from making use of occupied territory unless it benefits the local population, Israel's Haaretz daily reported on Monday.

The plan by privately owned waste companies is to deposit garbage in a former quarry near Nablus. 

Transferring Israeli garbage to the West Bank will be three times cheaper than taking it to a site in Israel, leaving a greater profit in the hands of the entrepreneurs and operators, the paper said.

Pollution experts fear the garbage will jeopardise Palestinian drinking water sources.

The paper said the new dump will constitute serious environmental hazards and jeopardise the groundwater, because the Israeli civil administration refuses to let Palestinians build modern waste-disposal sites.

'Double crime'

"We are dealing with a double crime," Yossi Sarid, former Israeli environment minister, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

"I believe this is a violation of international treaties"

Yossi Sarid,
former Israeli Environment Minister

"On the one hand, Israel is preventing the Palestinians from making use of the quarry and its resources, and in exchange we are giving them the Sharon's garbage. I believe this is a violation of international treaties."

Iche Meir, the director of the union of Samaria local authorities for the environment, said the work had been done without the union's approval and was illegal.
 
Haaretz has learned that although the environment minister has not yet approved the work on the dump, and despite the civil administration's order to stop the construction, the bulldozers are still working at the site.