“Every living is made of water”,  said Mrs. Tariq Azahiman of Shu’fat Refugee Camp. She said that the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality has shut off the water supply to 7,000 residents in Jerusalem’s Shu’fat Camp.


Mrs. Azahiman  went on to say, “, which currently holds responsibility for the city, is shirking its responsibilities when it comes to refugees. And the United Nations seems powerless to enforce its resolutions, so what can we do?”

Without prior warning thousands of camp residents lost their water supply 10 days ago.

The loss contravenes the Ministry of Construction and Development of Jordan resolution issued before the beginning of the 1967 Israeli occupation. The resolution stipulated the camp’s water supply was to be constant and free of charge.

Another woman who has lived in the Shu’fat Refugee Camp for nearly 30 years in a three-room house built of bricks asked, “Is it not enough to live within the Wall, barbed wire and barriers?”

“We need water, which is the backbone of life!” she shouted.

There are approximately 20,000 Palestinian refugees in Shu’fat, including 3,500 secondary school students, and the patients in the Institute of Rehabilitation Center. The camp is also home to numerous clinics and health centers, industrial and commercial facilities, most of which still have water.

 On Saturday a resident held drums filled with water, while young people were pouring water into the roof-top tanks, and a woman walked past carrying a package of bottles of water.

Appeals have been issued to all official bodies to no avail. A camp official said, “Is it a punitive action because we now live within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and must succumb to Israeli laws?”

The question was also raised, “Is the water cut off from the camp in order to isolate it from the city of Jerusalem or in order to continue building the Wall?”

The Israeli Knesset has passed a resolution which prohibits cutting off Shu’fat’s water supply for any reason.

Mrs. Azahiman said, “The charts and papers say we live within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. But on the ground you see something different with the barbed wire and barriers at the camp’s entrances, the destroyed homes and frequent closures, and now finally they have cut off our water source.”

She is among the 7,000 Palestinians in the refugee camp that are now without any water. “We call upon the United Nations to show their commitment to their responsibilities by restoring our water supply. That would help restore our confidence in the international body that is now greatly shaken.”