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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/6/10

Palestinians Denied Access to Water

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Palestinians Denied Access to Water - by Stephen Lendman


According to OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), Palestinians face a serious water crisis, being denied access to their own resources.


Cara Flowers with the Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Group (EWASH - a coalition of almost 30 water and sanitation sector organizations in Occupied Palestine) said many vulnerable communities in Israeli-controlled Area C (covering 60% of the West Bank) are hardest hit, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) having limited say over its own resources, ones Israel uses itself, an international water expert saying:


It's "easy (making) the desert bloom by using someone else's water (and) denying them access to their fair share...." In some areas, it's easier denying them none except what they can obtain by other means or illegally.


In 2009, Amnesty International (AI) addressed the problem in its report titled, "Troubled Waters - Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water," explaining that water is life, stealing it a crime, without it "we can't live; not us, not the animals, or the plants," said Fatima al-Nawajah, a South Hebron Hills area resident.


Throughout the Occupied Territories, the problem is longstanding, exacerbated by Israeli water policies, denying Palestinians for themselves, preventing their right to their own resources.


"The inequality in access....between Israelis and Palestinians is striking," especially in summer when needs are greatest. Palestinians consume about 70 liters per capita a day (the lowest amount in the region), well below the WHO-recommended 100 liter minimum, and in some rural areas much less, as little as 20 liters.


In contrast, Israelis use about 300 liters, denying Palestinians an equitable share, including from the underground Mountain Aquifer and Jordan River surface water, reserved solely for Jews.


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Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a (more...)
 

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