The Israeli water authority has discussed appeals against the new system for collecting water charges from “unlicensed” houses, including those not linked to the water system, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel has revealed. Even houses which do not consume any water at all will be subject to charges under the new system.
The amount charged would be based on the amount of water consumed by the whole neighbourhood, with the total divided among the Palestinian residents of the villages behind the Apartheid (“Separation”) Wall.
“The water crisis in the neighbourhoods behind the Wall is due to continuous cuts of water supplies, which sometimes last three weeks,” said the association. It pointed out that the Israeli water authority does not name the Palestinian neighbourhoods behind the Wall, but refers to them as “every unlicensed site”. This might include many other Arab neighbourhoods in Israel, the association warned.
Based on this policy, the Israeli water authority does not supply “enough water that meets quality standards” to the Arab residents in these areas. It also adopts “illegal and arbitrary” ways of deciding consumption prices and collecting money.
“This will cause much potential damage to tens of thousands of [Arab] citizens, mainly in Jerusalem,” concluded the association. It accused the Israeli water authority of breaking the law, as its duty is to provide enough potable water to these people, not only to collect money from them.
(Middle East Monitor – www.middleeastmonitor.com)