Israel’s continued destruction of Palestinian water resources has been criticized by the UN and the Palestinian Water Authority.In a joint statement, the two organizations condemned the destruction of water cisterns in areas of the West Bank that are under direct Israeli control. According to United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Maxwell Gaylard, “It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind the destruction of basic rainwater collection systems, some of them very old, which serve marginalized rural and herder Palestinian communities where water is already scarce and where drought is an ever-present threat.’
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) recorded the demolition of 27 water cisterns and other rain water collection systems in the West Bank in 2010. Many of these structures are extremely old, dating back to the Ottoman era. Within Area C, many thousands of Palestinians rely on water cisterns because of the imposition of tight restrictions on the development of water infrastructure by the Israeli government.