Israel leaves Palestinians thirsty
As summer enters its height
AL-KHLIL, (PIC)– Throughout the summer months, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank suffer a severe shortage of water and it is getting worse year after year, as the result of Israeli policy of unfair allocation of water resources in the West Bank. The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) stated that Palestine suffers from the unfair distribution of water sources, which remain under almost full Israeli control, in total violation of the international law. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), 51 million cubic meters were allocated for Palestinian farmers in 2011 while 1,042 million cubic meters were allocated for the Israelis during the same reported period. The 1993 Oslo Peace Accord stated that the Palestinians should yearly have 118 million cubic meters; however, they are currently using 87 million cubic meters of water. Israel exploits approximately 80% of the renewal water resources, while the Palestinians the remaining 20%. Director of the PWA Essam Arman charged that the water shortage crisis in West Bank is a political crisis par excellence as Israel has taken advantage of its control of the West Bank in order to appropriate more water sources and to prevent Palestinians from developing new water sources that are under the land. The southern villages of al-Khalil are the most affected areas by water crisis, he pointed out. Local residents have been complaining and protesting for more than two months against Israeli control over the water sources. The residents stated that they were forced along the past four weeks to purchase high-priced water especially during the holy month of Ramadan. According to the Israeli leftist organisation B’tselem, the discrimination in utilization of the resources shared by Israel and the Palestinian Authority is clearly reflected in the figures on water consumption by each population. Daily per capita water consumption in the West Bank for domestic, urban, and industrial use is some 73 liters, while per capita water consumption in Israeli towns is 242 liters and in local councils, 211 liters. In other words, per capita use in Israel is three and a half times higher than in the West Bank, B’tselem underlined. Under international law, Israel is committed to supplying drinking water to the Palestinians and not denying them.
(Source / 14.06.2016)