A study prepared by a specialized institute showed that Israel controls 80% of Palestinian water. According to a study made by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem – ARIJ- a Palestinian environmental and Geopolitical specialized NGO- presented on Friday in a hotel in the central West Bank city of Ramallah showed that Israel depletes the water in the West Bank that will lead to dwindling share of the Palestinians from drinking and agriculture water.

Dr. Jad Isshak, the Director of ARIJ, said that Israel controls 80% of the annually renewable water, amounting to 453 million cubic meters, and deprive Palestinians of their right to water of the Jordan River, which is a right that is guaranteed by international law. Dr. Isshak pointed out that the illegal wall Israeli building in the West Bank, to isolate the Palestinians from more water sources, pointing out that the wall isolates 29 wells and 32 springs behind it.

The study showed that in the West Bank there is 257 – 13% of the Palestinian population in the West Bank- without water systems. Due to the Non-stop Israel exploitation of water, leading to decreasing amount of water obtained by Palestinians annually the study concluded by warning from catastrophic effects that threatens the Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

The issue of water was one of the main topics in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations which had been suspended since the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada – uprising- 2000.

Palestinians argue that the right to water is similar to the right to set up an independent state, but Israel during the negotiations in the 90s offered alternative plans on the issue of access to water like the importation of water from Turkey or desalination of seawater.

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura