A statement recently released by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has revealed that 60-80,000 Palestinian Jerusalem residents have been without running water for 3 months.According to the statement, several neighborhoods in north-east Jerusalem, namely the Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Ras Khamis, Ras Sh’hadeh and Dahiyat a-Salam, all separated from the rest of Jerusalem by Israel’s massive (and illegal) apartheid wall, have been denied a regular supply of water from Jerusalem’s water utility company, Hagihon, beginning in March of 2014.
Some homes have been completely cut off, while others recieve a sporadic supply. In other homes, the water pressure in the pipes is so low that the water does not reach the faucets, according to B’Tselem.
The statement further reports that residents spent three weeks making repeated appeals to Hagihon and the Jerusalem Municipality, in an attempt to have their utilities restored.
Their requests denied, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) petitioned the High Court of Justice. In early April of 2014, B’Tselem further states, the court gave the state of Israel 60 days to respond to the petition. During this time residents go without regular running water.
ACRI Attorney Karen Tzafrir noted that families in these neighborhoods have no choice but to buy bottled water or to fill large containers and ration their intake. Showering, use of the toilet, laundry and other cleaning tasks have been reduced to absolute minimums.
The deadline is set for the first week of June.
Israel began occupying East Jerusalem in 1967. After the conflict, it redrew Jerusalem’s municipal boundary, extending it into the West Bank, to encompass what were then small Palestinian communities, and annexing lands which were then made to be a part of the city.
The annexation is illegal under international law, to which Israel and their Western backers are signatory.
Israel considers all of East Jerusalem to be part of its capital, with some 200,000 Israeli Jews and 300,000 Palestinians now living in occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians demand to be returned as their own capital of a future nation.