Amnesty: Israel curbing water

2009-10-26 20:44

Jerusalem - Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report published on Tuesday that Israeli restrictions prevent Palestinians from receiving enough water in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The report says Israel's daily water consumption per capita is four times higher than that in the 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," said Amnesty's Donatella Rovera.

Israel, itself facing unprecedented water shortages and rising tariffs, controls much of the West Bank's supplies, pumping from an aquifer that bridges Israel and the territory.

Israel sells some water back to the Palestinians under quotas agreed in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which rights groups say have not been increased in line with population growth.

The report said that Gaza's coastal aquifer, its sole fresh water resource, has been polluted by infiltration of seawater and raw sewage and degraded by over-extraction.

Israel maintains a blockade of the Gaza Strip, an area taken over by Hamas Islamists who fought Palestinian forces loyal to Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.

Israel's water authority called the report "biased and incorrect, at the very least" and said that while there is a water gap, it is not nearly as big as presented in Amnesty's findings.

It said Israel has met its obligations under the Oslo agreement while Palestinians have failed to meet their own requirements to recycle water and were not distributing water efficiently.

Amnesty said water consumption in Israel is 300 litres a day per person and 70 litres a day in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel's water authority said those numbers are misleading, because they take into account internal distribution and do not compare total water consumption. It says the total numbers are 408 litres per day for Israelis and 287 litres for Palestinians.

The Amnesty report described how Palestinians in the West Bank rely on water from tankers that are forced to take long detours to avoid Israeli military checkpoints and roads off-limits to Palestinians. The procedure has led to steep increases in water prices, the report added.

  • S Mohamed - 2009-10-26 21:29

    Oh Israel !!! fear the day of judgement with GOD !!

  • ismail - 2009-10-26 22:51

    israel is an apartheid state...and must be isolated...

  • Canadian - 2009-10-27 00:10

    The headline should read: Israel still doing more than all the Arab Countries in the world to provide water, food, and financial assistance. Shame how 1/4 of the world (Muslims) brainwash the rest of us.

  • RSA - 2009-10-27 06:28

    Just answer 2 questions before you judge. Why the long detour routes, may it be because of cowardly acts of terrorism? The palestinian aquifier is not effective to its max, why not? Take responsibility for your own acts.

  • Semjaja - 2009-10-27 07:21

    how are they meant to recycle when not only does israel destroy infrastructure, but also blocks parts from coming into palestine?

  • M Jordan - 2009-10-27 08:34

    I dont understand why Israel needs to supply water to another country anyway, cant the palestinians do anything by themselves. Look after your OWN family before you worry about someone elses.
    And to S Mohamed, we are waiting for the day of judgement with
    G-D for it will surely be a good day.

  • legend of the game - 2009-10-27 08:47

    hahhah that place is so funny, israel/palestine is simply a joke now...its annoying, israel just wants attention because they live in such a small little section of the can drive from Eliat in the south to Haifa/Jaffa in the north within a day.....yet this country is taken up newspace because of right wing nuts and nationalism....tsk tsk....we should invade

  • Christian - 2009-10-27 09:26

    It is a well known fact that Israel Bashing has become almost like sport in many countries around the world, with normal rights like the right to Life, the right to self defense being granted to its enemies, but the some rights been denied to Israel. Well in the Good Book, the people or Israel are God own people and all who trample on there rights need to tremble, because God will not allow anyone to do that. S Mohamed we do fear the Judgment of the God of Israel that is why I have turned to him and him alone. My pray is that all people will do so.

  • legend of the game - 2009-10-27 20:43

    well look at my point by reading the above comments why i don't get our earth.....god will judge all of you for fighting and killing your own fellow humans over your fake ideologies and misunderstanding of god....funny bunnies we should hAVE A BOXING MATCH.....

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