Israel Destroys Palestinian Water Reservoir in West Bank

Israel demolished Palestinian rainwater reservoir in Bethlehem, West Bank. It is a crucial water source for consumption and irrigation facilities for Palestinian farmers.

Palestinian water reservoirs
Illustration. Israeli forces destroy Palestinian water reservoirs. (Doc. Al-Haq)

ACTNews, WEST BANK – The Israeli occupation authorities today demolished a water reservoir in al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, according to a local source.

Ahmad Salah, a local activist, said that on Monday (11/01/2021), Israeli forces escorted a bulldozer into the Wadi al-Shami area of the town, where the heavy machinery tore down the water reservoir purportedly for being built without a permit.

Thousands of residents of Al-Khader live suffering from water scarcity since Israel controlled all water resources in the West Bank. The reservoir was built by residents to collect rainwater as a source of clean water and for irrigation of plantation land.

Israel's actions to exacerbate the Palestinian water crisis like this were not the first. In late October, Israeli troops forcibly took water tanks belonging to Palestinians south of Bethlehem.

On Monday, October 11, 2021, Israeli settlers installed water pipes in land belonging to Palestinians in the Ein al-Sakout area in the northern Jordan Valley, according to a local official. Israel attempts to reduce Palestinian activity and presence in the Jordan Valley, which makes almost a third of the area of the occupied West Bank and considered the breadbasket of Palestine after it decided to annex it, a step that has provoked worldwide condemnation.

Israel directly controls 85 percent of water resources in the West Bank and has a say in how the rest is distributed, Palestinian officials told Al Jazeera. The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, is seeking Israeli licenses to dig additional wells in the West Bank to fill the enormous need for more water.[]