Israels Exploitation Of Palestinian Water Resources by goodbaby

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Israel’s Exploitation Of Palestinian Water Resources

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AVAILABLE WATER RESOURCES

THE IMBALANCE RESULTS FROM ISRAELI ABUSE OF ITS OCCUPATION POWER
• Effective operation of the Joint Water Committee (JWC)— established by the Oslo Agreement, and comprising Israeli and Palestinian representatives—has been thwarted by Israeli usurpation of decision-making: Israel dominates proceedings by imposing a veto power on decisions. Palestinian representatives on the Committee have been prevented from entering Israeli settlements on the WB to monitor water extraction, while no such restriction has been imposed on their Israeli counterparts. A range of water-related actions and decisions are taken unilaterally by Israel, without consultation in the JWC.

ISRAEL’S EXPLOITATION OF PALESTINIAN WATER RESOURCES
• Israel seized control of Palestinian water supplies in 1967—and has insisted on retaining full control in the 42 years since then. • In that period, Israel has destroyed Palestinian wells in order to divert water to its own national water carrier. • Moreover, also throughout that period, Israel has prevented Palestinians from developing or expanding their own access to water supplies. • As a consequence, Palestinians’ use of water is amongst the lowest in the world—and is declining. • Israel is consolidating its dominance by building its illegal settlements and its separation wall over the main water resource (the Western Aquifer) thereby denying Palestinians access to that water. • Israeli exploitation needs to be stopped—before the Palestinian community in the West Bank is completely destroyed or removed from its homeland.
See ‘Drying up Palestine’ (6 minute film) http://www.dryinguppalestine.org/main.html

Palestinians have the lowest access to fresh water resources in the middle east region.
The Israelis and Palestinians share two water systems: (1) The Mountain Aquifer, extending underground for 130km, and traversing the border between the West Bank (WB) and Israel. It comprises three sub-aquifers: Western, Northern and Eastern. From these, the volume of water taken by Israel amounts to: a. 95% of the Western aquifer, the storage area of which lies in Israel, although most of its recharge is in the WB; b. 70% of the Northern aquifer, the storage and recharge areas of which substantially are in the WB; c. 37% (mostly by illegal settlers) of the Eastern aquifer, which is entirely in the WB. (2) The Jordan basin, a surface system stretching over 330km, and shared between Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Palestinians are denied access to this water, while Israel takes 31%. Overall, Palestinians extract only 20% of water from the Mountain Aquifer, while Israel extracts the balance—which represents an Israeli overdraw of more than 50% beyond its entitlement under the 1995 Oslo Interim Agreement on Water (which is still in operation). This over-extraction by deep wells has caused irreversible damage to the aquifers and a decline in the water available to Palestinians through shallower wells. As a result, Palestinians’ water withdrawal has actually declined in the past decade so that water availability to WB Palestinians is less than a quarter of that allocated to Israel: 123 litres per capita per day (lpcd) compared with 544 lpcd for Israelis.

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• Furthermore, the Israeli civil administration has been invoked to deny or to restrict the implementation of Palestinian-nominated projects approved by JWC in Area C—comprising 60% of the WB and covering almost all Palestinian wells, water conveyance and waste-water treatment infrastructure. The Israeli authorities permit no Palestinian representation, and treat their review as though the land and water resources were the property of the Israeli state.

Some consequences • Current investment in the WB water sector is only one tenth of planned levels. • Palestinian waste-water treatment investments have been blocked for a decade by Israel. • A high proportion of Palestinian projects are rejected or longdelayed by the Israeli-dominated JWC: 106 water projects and 12 large scale waste water projects are awaiting approval, some of them since 1999. • Implementation of the few Palestinian projects that get off the drawing board are faced with multiple administrative hurdles imposed by Israelis. • By contrast, all Israeli projects (except one) have been approved in the JWC.
Source: World Bank report no 47657-GZ: ‘Assessment of Restrictions on Palestinian Water Sector Development’, April 2009.


								
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