(14.7.16) The Water Authority responded to our petition by evading responsibility for the water shortage in the West Bank, talking about an “interim agreements.” The truth is, they are right: it is a policy of the Israeli government. So we added the minister of water as a target of the campaign and we are continuing to exert pressure - because thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank still don’t have running water. Join Now:
Imagine you go to your kitchen sink on a hot summer’s day and no water comes out. Not a drop. Not for drinking, or bathing, or cooking or cleaning. Imagine someone near your water valve who controls the amount of water that reaches your house: Sometimes the water flow is turned up, sometimes turned down, sometimes it flows to the nearby settlement, and sometimes it is shut off completely for two whole weeks. This is the current reality for tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank, while the nearby Jewish settlements enjoy running water without disruption.
Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, announced that this crisis is projected to continue for the duration of the summer and the Israeli army has explained that it is in fact the heat that requires the “regulation” of water flow. Nevertheless, we cannot allow sterile words like “regulation” to turn an inconceivable situation into a norm. Israel controls the supply of water to the West Bank, so it is the country’s duty to make sure Palestinians have enough running water.
The Palestinian water sector is almost entirely dependent on Israel. Israel sells most of the water Palestinians use in the West Bank, while controlling the sources of water that are located in occupied territory (!) Even without the summer cuts, the amount of water Palestinians receive, which was determined in agreements from 20 years ago, is not enough for the Palestinian population in the West Bank. There is no doubt that there are additional problems, such as a deficient infrastructure, water theft (think about how desperate a person has to be to steal water), and more. But the bottom line is clear: there are people living without water, and Israel is responsible.
During the brutal heat of summer, when the need for water rises, the problem intensifies. We are also in the midst of the month of Ramadan, so there is a critical need for water access in the evening hours when the fast is broken. Israel’s choice of timing for reducing the water flow leaves tens of thousands of men, women and children without running water for days. This situation must be stopped immediately, And public pressure can make a difference - Join the call to open the tap and let water flow into the West Bank.
This is a joint campaign with Physicians for Human Rights
To: Coordinator for Government Activity in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai; Water Authority Director Alexander Kushnir
We call you to put a stop to the intolerable situation in which tens of thousands of Palestinians are suffering from a water shortage.
The issue of water may be complicated, but the bottom line is deplorable: Tens of thousands of people – men, women and children – don’t have enough water to meet their basic needs in the brutal heat of summer. No broken valve or political consideration can justify this injustice. Israel controls Palestinian access to water, so it is its duty to rectify this situation immediately.