Friday, June 17, 2016

Israel Denies Water to Palestinian West Bank Areas

Israel Denies Water to Palestinian West Bank Areas

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness knows no limits, cutting off water to tens of thousands of Palestinians the latest example.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah issued a statement, accusing Israel of “waging a water war against the Palestinians.”

Netanyahu-led extremists want them “prevent(ed) from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end.” 

“While illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service, Palestinians are forced to spend great sums of money to buy water that is theirs in the first place” - stolen from them, then sold back at unaffordable prices.

Main water supplier Mekorot suspended supplies to Jenin, Salfit, Nablus area villages and elsewhere. 

Israelis have virtual unlimited fresh water access, the West Bank average for Palestinians around 65-70 liters daily - well below the WHO 100-liter minimum needed for drinking, proper sanitation and hygiene. 

According to Palestinian Hydrology Group executive director Ayman Rabi, some West Bank areas had no access to “water for more than 40 days.”

“People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity” - some families forced “to live on two, three or 10 liters per capita per day,” inadequate to get by on longer term.

The Palestinian Al-Haq human rights group earlier explained Mekorot diverts up to 50% of Palestinian water during summer months for increased consumption needs of illegal settlements - their expansion exacerbating an already intolerable situation.

Israel’s Joint Water Committee decides how water resources are allocated - consistently denying Palestinians the right to upgrade their water infrastructure or expand it - to meet the needs of a growing population.

Around 200,000 West Bank Palestinians have no access to running water. According to PA prime minister’s office communications director Jamal Dajani, “Israel is waging water war against Palestinians,” in some cases denying them enough to sustain life.

For Gazans it’s worse. UNICEF calls over 90% of water from its sole aquifer contaminated, unfit to drink, including water sold by unregulated private vendors.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

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