West Bank Water Crisis: Cost 12 Times Higher than Normal Price

Israel has a history of commandeering water resources in the occupied territories. (Photo: Ma'an)

Palestinians living in parts of the occupied West Bank are suffering from a severe shortage of water as temperatures in the area peak.

Palestinian, Nidal Younis, head of the Masafer Yatta village council near Hebron, said water is becoming too expensive for residents to access.

“The cost of a cubic meter for residents is 12 times higher than the normal price,” he told Reuters, shaking his head, adding, “When water is available, it normally costs four shekels [about $1] per cubic meter, but now it costs 50 shekels [$13].”

Younis said that Israel prohibits residents from accessing the ground water by denying permits to dig wells, leaving residents and livestock suffering.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which is working with the Palestinian Authority and Italian aid agency GVC to provide water to impoverished areas, has warned that up to 35,000 Palestinians are at risk because of the shortages.

Gregor von Medeazza, the head of UNICEF’s water program, said Israel had prevented villagers from building water-retention facilities and demolished many that have been built on the basis that they did not have the required permission.

Palestinians living furthest from urban areas are hardest effected as they are forced to pay for water to be brought to their homes by the truckload, he explained.


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