Report: Israel Plans to Supply West Bank Palestinians with 40% Less Water than Settlers

Palestinian girls obtaining a clean water which they can't get at their homes. (Photo: via CMWU, file)

Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz has been forced to block a plan that would see the country’s national water company build more infrastructure to provide water for controversial Jewish settlements, than for Palestinians, who already receive less, according to Israeli media reports.

In its future infrastructure plan, discussed at an unpublicized official meeting in September, the state-owned Mekorot Water Company proposed increasing the amount of water for Palestinians in the Israel-controlled West Bank from 45 cubic meters per person currently, to 65 cubic meters by 2050. In comparison, by the end of that period the Israeli settlements on the land illegally occupied by Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967, would be receiving 40 percent more water.

Details of the meeting were disclosed by the Hebrew-language news website The Marker, and cited in the Haaretz, an English-language daily.

Steinitz reportedly dismissed the proposal outright, claiming that the company was violating international conventions that stipulate that it is illegal to discriminate when providing vital infrastructure on the basis of ethnicity, and forced Mekorot to draft another plan, which has not yet been presented.

The company unsuccessfully argued that the Palestinian Authority, which is striving for political and economic independence from Israel, should also have some responsibility for providing infrastructure for its citizens.

Mekorot also justified the difference in provision by claiming that Palestinians, who have a lower standard of living, do not currently use as much water as the Israelis. The reason for this is already a hot topic in a region that suffers from natural water shortages.

Mekorot imposes annual summer cuts that decrease the pipeline supply by over 50 percent, which often last into the autumn, and disproportionately target the Palestinian community. Al Jazeera and other Arab world media have reported that some villages have been receiving water for as little as two hours a week.

(RT, PC, Social Media)

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