The water crisis in the West Bank is a consequence of Israel’s control and use of water resources, PA Prime Minister Salem Fayyad said on Monday. A conference on water and the prospects for agriculture was organized by the Palestine Technical University where support for farmers and Palestinians right to secure water was discussed.
Conference president, Mahmud Rahil, pointed out that the water issue is a political matter as Israel controls 85% of the water resources in the West Bank.
An UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs report released in March said Jewish settlers had seized dozens of natural springs in the West Bank, barring Palestinians or limiting their access to scarce water sources.
The report added: ‘Since the beginning of its occupation in 1967, Israel has established and maintained a system of direct control over the exploitation and distribution of West Bank water resources.’
Meanwhile, around 300,000 Palestinians in the West Bank are vulnerable to water scarcity, the report adds.
Palestinians consume on average around 70 liters a day, while settlers consume 300 liters a day. Furthermore, settlers use the water resources to irrigate and produce agricultural goods for export while families in the West Bank are finding it hard to feed their own families from their own agriculture.
Around 14,000 people rely on tankers of water at five times the price of piped water. They have access to around 30 liters a day, one-tenth the quantity accessed by settlers.