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The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz caused an uproar in the Knesset in February 2014 when he accused Israel of denying water to the Palestinians. Attached here is a summary of a report from Israel’s Water Authority regarding the water situation in Judea and Samaria (a link to the full report can be found below).

A historical analysis will show that the years following 1967 saw a considerable improvement in the quality of life of the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria in many areas, including water. The overall water consumption by Palestinians in Judea and Samaria almost doubled in the first 26 years, from 65 million m3/year (cubic meters per year) in 1967 to 120 m3/year on the eve of the Oslo Agreements in 1993.

Improvements in the water infrastructure: In 1967, the water system was extremely primitive and running water was supplied only to the larger cities. The Israeli Civil Administration laid out an intricate system of pipelines throughout the region and connected hundreds of towns and villages to the water system, providing them with running water for the first time. As a result of the establishment of the Jewish communities in the area, dozens of additional areas of Arab settlement were connected to the system and provided with running water.

Furthermore, since the signing of the Interim Agreements with the Palestinian Authority, Israel has supplied the PA with about 30 million m3/year, drawn from the Israeli water system on the western side of the Green Line.

Violation of agreements

The Interim Agreements determined that water issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would be settled by a joint committee. In this context, the Palestinian Authority pledged to prevent wildcat water drills, treat sewage efficiently and increase pumping from the eastern basin.

The fulfillment of these sections of the agreement would assure cooperation and good neighborly relations between Israel and the Palestinians. However, despite the generous funding allocated for this matter, the Palestinians continue to systematically violate these sections of the agreement:

Wildcat drills: Since the signing of the agreements, more than 200 wildcat wells have been drilled, especially in northern Samaria.

Stream pollution: Of its 53 million m3/year of sewage, the Palestinian Authority treats only 4 m3/year is treated; another 14 m3/year is treated by Israel. The remaining sewage is allowed to flow freely into the streams, causing severe pollution.



Link to the full report

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