Palestinians Face Water Shortages during Dry Season as Water Sources Controlled by Israel

Israel controls 85 percent of water resources in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities refuse to grant the necessary licenses to the Palestinian water authorities to operate freely.

Palestinians Face Water Shortages.
Illustration, Israel controls 85 percent of water resources in the West Bank that causes water shortage to the Palestinians. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, WEST BANK – Palestine has entered the dry season since early July. Palestinians’ water tanks in the occupied West Bank have even been dried for weeks.

In contrast, such tanks are rarely seen in Israeli settlements because water is available around the clock and is never shut off. Israeli settlers nearby enjoy unlimited quantities not only for drinking but to fill swimming pools, irrigate crops, and wash their vehicles.

Israel controls 85 percent of water resources in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities refuse to grant the necessary licenses to the Palestinian water authorities to operate freely.

According to Bassam Sawalhi, an engineer with the Jerusalem Water Undertaking, every year, the Israeli water company continuously reduces the water supplies for the Palestinians in the West Bank. This summer the Israeli water company has reduced the quantity it supplies to 35,000 cubic meters of water per day from 38,000 cubic meters in previous years. The difference of 3,000 cubic meters was transferred to the Israeli settlements.

“Since the summer of 2018 until now, there are villages that receive water only once every 15 days. This summer we suffer from a greater water crisis than the previous summers and we have to deal with it,” said Bassam Sawalhi.

The situation is certainly very difficult for Palestinians whose population continues to increase since as the population grows, the need for water also increases. Palestinians in the West Bank are forced to buy water from the Israeli water company with a limited quantity. “This is our water they steal and sell to us,” Sawalhi said.[]