No Water, No Life

â??The Palestinians are on the verge of a humanitarian crisis, as the UN warns, not just because of food shortage caused by Israeli closures but also because their agriculture-dependent territories are being sliced from the main water resources by the Israeli separation wall.

“With the wall, the Israelis clearly sought to commandeer water resources,” Hind Khury, a former Palestinian cabinet minister responsible for Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) and now the government’s representative in Paris, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Sunday, March 19.

“Without water, there is no life. Israeli policy has always been to push Palestinians into the desert,” he added.

Israel is monopolizing around 75 percent of Palestinian water resources in the occupied West Bank, a region where rainfall is infrequent and water a strategic asset.

The 700km-long separation wall has cut more than 220 Palestinian communities in the West Bank — around 320,000 people â?? from main water resources.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are now forced to buy water from trucks — an expense many can ill afford — to supplement local supplies that often fall woefully short of requirements.

Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan rely on the River Jordan which Tel Aviv controls and has cut supplies during times of scarcity.

The International Court of Justice has asked Israel to tear down the barrier, which resulted in the confiscation of 11,4000 dunums (2,850 acres – 1,140 hectares) of privately-owned Palestinian land, and compensate affected Palestinians.

…Israel is also being blamed for contaminating water resources by dumping toxic waste on Palestinian lands.

“I often get stomach ache. I throw up. It’s the same for all the children here,” said nine-year-old Fatima from the small town of Attil while looking feverishly at her mother Awa.

At least a third of the local drinking water is contaminated by sewage and pesticides, according to AFP. [source]�

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