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Israel 'cuts Palestinian water'

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    Israel cuts Palestinian water BBC NEWS http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8327188.stm Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 21, 2010
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      Israel 'cuts Palestinian water'
      BBC NEWS
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8327188.stm


      Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.

      In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
      It says that in Gaza, Israel's blockade has brought the water and sewage system to "crisis point".

      Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal.

      'Basic need'

      In the 112-page report, Amnesty says that on average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 litres a day, compared with 300 litres for the Israelis.

      " Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water "
      Donatella Rovera Amnesty International

      It says that some Palestinians barely get 20 litres a day - the minimum recommended even in humanitarian emergencies.

      Amnesty says that Israel denies West Bank Palestinians to dig wells, and has even destroyed cisterns and impounded water tankers.

      At the same time, the report claims, Israeli settlers are enjoying swimming pools and green gardens.

      In Gaza, Israel refuses access to many of the building materials needed to renovate the ailing water system, the document says.
      It adds that Israel uses more than 80% of the water from the Mountain Aquifer - the main source of underground water in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

      "Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality, subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford," Amnesty's Donatella Rovera said.

      "Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water."
      Ms Rovera also urged Israel to "take responsibility for addressing the problems it created by allowing Palestinians a fair share of the shared water resources".

      Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said the report was factually inaccurate, accusing the Palestinians of mismanaging water resources.
      He also rejected the claim that Israel was preventing Palestinians from drilling for water.

      The spokesman said Israel had approved 82 such projects but the Palestinians had only implemented 26 of them.

      ===

      Amnesty International: Israel rations Palestinians to trickle of water
      http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2009/10/27/amnesty-international-israel-rations-palestinians-to-trickle-of-water-new-report/


      Amnesty International has accused Israel of denying Palestinians the right to access adequate water by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and pursuing discriminatory policies.

      These unreasonably restrict the availability of water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) and prevent the Palestinians developing an effective water infrastructure there.

      "Israel allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the occupied West Bank, while the unlawful Israeli settlements there receive virtually unlimited supplies. In Gaza the Israeli blockade has made an already dire situation worse," said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's researcher on Israel and the OPT.

      In a new extensive report, Amnesty International revealed the extent to which Israel's discriminatory water policies and practices are denying Palestinians their right to access to water.

      Israel uses more than 80 per cent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the OPT, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 per cent.

      The Mountain Aquifer is the only source for water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but only one of several for Israel, which also takes for itself all the water available from the Jordan River.

      While Palestinian daily water consumption barely reaches 70 litres a day per person, Israeli daily consumption is more than 300 litres per day, four times as much.

      In some rural communities Palestinians survive on barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended for domestic use in emergency situations.

      Some 180,000-200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities have no access to running water and the Israeli army often prevents them from even collecting rainwater.

      In contrast, Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in violation of international law, have intensive-irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools.

      Numbering about 450,000, the settlers use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.

      In the Gaza Strip, 90 to 95 per cent of the water from its only water resource, the Coastal Aquifer, is contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Yet, Israel does not allow the transfer of water from the Mountain Aquifer in the West Bank to Gaza.

      Stringent restrictions imposed in recent years by Israel on the entry into Gaza of material and equipment necessary for the development and repair of infrastructure have caused further deterioration of the water and sanitation situation in Gaza, which has reached crisis point.

      To cope with water shortages and lack of network supplies many Palestinians have to purchase water, of often dubious quality, from mobile water tankers at a much higher price.

      Others resort to water-saving measures which are detrimental to their and their families' health and which hinder socio-economic development.

      "Over more than 40 years of occupation, restrictions imposed by Israel on the Palestinians' access to water have prevented the development of water infrastructure and facilities in the OPT, consequently denying hundreds of thousand of Palestinians the right to live a normal life, to have adequate food, housing, or health, and to economic development," said Donatella Rovera.

      Israel has appropriated large areas of the water-rich Palestinian land it occupies and barred Palestinians from accessing them.

      It has also imposed a complex system of permits which the Palestinians must obtain from the Israeli army and other authorities in order to carry out water-related projects in the OPT. Applications for such permits are often rejected or subject to long delays.

      Restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of people and goods in the OPT further compound the difficulties Palestinians face when trying to carry out water and sanitation projects, or even just to distribute small quantities of water.

      Water tankers are forced to take long detours to avoid Israeli military checkpoints and roads which are out of bounds to Palestinians, resulting in steep increases in the price of water.

      In rural areas, Palestinian villagers are continuously struggling to find enough water for their basic needs, as the Israeli army often destroys their rainwater harvesting cisterns and confiscates their water tankers.

      In comparison, irrigation sprinklers water the fields in the midday sun in nearby Israeli settlements, where much water is wasted as it evaporates before even reaching the ground.

      In some Palestinian villages, because their access to water has been so severely restricted, farmers are unable to cultivate the land, or even to grow small amounts of food for their personal consumption or for animal fodder, and have thus been forced to reduce the size of their herds.

      "Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford," said Donatella Rovera.
      "Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water, and take responsibility for addressing the problems it created by allowing Palestinians a fair share of the shared water resources."

      ===

      Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8327188.stm


      In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

      It says that in Gaza, Israel's blockade has pushed the already ailing water and sewage system to "crisis point".

      Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal.

      'Basic need'

      In the 112-page report, Amnesty says that on average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 litres a day, compared with 300 litres for the Israelis.

      Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water

      Donatella Rovera
      Amnesty International

      ==

      Gaza thirsts as sewage crisis mounts
      Water shortages plague West Bank

      It says that some Palestinians barely get 20 litres a day - the minimum recommended even in humanitarian emergencies.


      While Israeli settlers in the West Bank enjoy lush gardens and swimming pools, Amnesty describes a series of Israeli measures it says are discriminating against Palestinians:

      Israel has "entirely appropriated the Palestinians' share of the Jordan river" and uses 80% of a key shared aquifer

      West Bank Palestinians are not allowed to drill wells without Israeli permits, which are "often impossible" to obtain

      Rainwater harvesting cisterns are "often destroyed by the Israeli army"


      Recommended for short-term survival: 20 litres
      For the medium term: 70 litres
      Recommended for the long term: 100 litres
      (Source: WHO)


      Israeli soldiers confiscated a water tanker from villagers who were trying to remain in land Israel had declared a "closed military area"
      An unnamed Israeli soldier says rooftop Palestinian household water tanks are "good for target practice"

      Much of the land cut off by the West Bank barrier is land with good access to a major aquifer

      Israeli military operations have damaged Palestinian water infrastructure, including $6m worth during the Cast Lead operation in Gaza last winter

      The Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza has "exacerbated what was already a dire situation" by denying many building materials needed for water and sewage projects.

      The report also noted that the Palestinian water authorities have been criticised for bad management, quoting one audit that described the sector as in "total chaos".

      "Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality, subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford," Amnesty's Donatella Rovera said.

      "Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water."
      'Fair share'

      Ms Rovera also urged Israel to "take responsibility for addressing the problems it created by allowing Palestinians a fair share of the shared water resources".

      Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said "the idea that we're taking water away from someone else is simply preposterous".
      He argued that Israeli fresh water use per capita had gone down since 1967 due to efficiency and new technologies, while the Palestinians' use had increased and more than a third of their water was wasted.

      If there were allegations of military wrongdoing, those would be investigated, he said.

      He also rejected the claim that Israel was preventing Palestinians from drilling for water, saying Israel had approved 82 such projects but the Palestinians had only implemented 26 of them.

      "They have received billions of dollars in international aid over the last decade and a half, why have they not invested that in their own water infrastructure>?" he asked.

      The report also criticised the Oslo Accords, which the Palestinians agreed to in 1993.

      It said that under them, the Palestinians gained the responsibility for managing an "insufficient" water supply and maintaining "long neglected" water infrastructure.

      Also, the deal left the Palestinians paying Israel for half of the domestic water used in the West Bank, despite the fact it is extracted from the shared aquifer.

      Mr Regev said Israel provides the Palestinians with more water than it was required to under the accord.

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