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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Israel Water Authority blasts Amnesty report

On Saturday night, I did a post reporting that Amnesty International would issue a report this week that would claim that the 'Palestinian Authority' was not competent to enter into contracts when it signed agreements relating to water with Israel in 1993. That report has now been issued, and on Monday Israel's Water Authority blasted it.
The Water Authority slammed Amnesty International on Monday for failing to allow it to make any sort of presentation to Amnesty's researchers or react to the organization's findings on water allocation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority before the publication of its new critical report on Tuesday morning.

The authority also called into question some of the basic facts presented in the report.

...

The report also cites a vast difference in daily water use for the two parties. Amnesty cites 400 liters per day for Israelis, and just 70 for Palestinians. That figure puts the Palestinians below the World Health Organization recommendation of 100 liters per day.

However, the Water Authority hotly disputed those figures. According to the authority, while Israelis use 408 liters per day of fresh water from natural sources, Palestinians use 200 liters per day. While acknowledging the difference between these two amounts, the authority stressed that it was nowhere near as drastic as Amnesty had portrayed it.

The Foreign Ministry also refuted the report on Tuesday, stating that according to the existing water agreement, the Palestinians are allocated 23.6 million cubic meters of water per year, but "in actual effect, they have access to twice as much water."

In its statement, the Foreign Ministry said that Israel has "extensively surpassed the obligatory quantity" of water supplied to the Palestinians, while the Palestinians have "significantly violated their commitments under the water agreement" by neglecting the construction of sewage treatment plants despite "foreign funding earmarked for this purpose," as well as drilling over 250 unauthorized wells.
Indeed. The unauthorized wells, which have been a problem since Day One under the Oslo accords, have polluted the underground aquifers to the point that in many places they cannot be used. That combined with below average rainfall for the last five consecutive years has exacerbated our water shortage.
Israeli offers to supply the Palestinians with desalinated water were rejected due to political concerns, said the statement, adding that "Israel has reduced significantly its use of fresh natural water since 1967, consistently closing the gap between Israeli and Palestinian consumption."
In other words, the 'Palestinians' have not spent money they were supposed to spend on sewage treatment plants - using it to buy weapons instead - and have refused to accept anything other than 'holy Palestinian' fresh water.
[A]ccording to the Water Authority, while Israeli access to water before 1967 came out to about 500 cubic meters per person per year, nowadays it is just 149 cu.m. per year, a drop of 70%. In contrast, from a pre-1967 86 cu.m. per person per year, Palestinian consumption has risen to 105 cu.m.

The Water Authority also stressed that it routinely provided the PA with more water per year than the amounts stipulated in the Oslo Accords. It also said Palestinians routinely dug illegal wells and refused to purify and reuse their sewage for agriculture. Instead, they dumped their sewage into the streams in the West Bank, causing massive pollution.
But of course, Amnesty ignores all that, instead calling on Israel to 'stop' violating the 'Palestinians' water rights and to lift the blockade of Gaza so that materials may be brought in to rebuild water cisterns make more rockets.

Read the whole thing.

In August, the JPost reported that Israel had given the 'Palestinians' a piece of beach land near Hadera (which is not in Judea or Samaria) on which to build a desalination plant. A year later, the 'Palestinians' have done nothing with that land.

In April, the foreign ministry responded to a similar report by the World Bank.
The Israel-Palestinian water policy is based on an interim agreement between the two parties, particularly on Article 40 of Annex III to the agreement, which relates to the question of water and sewage. According to the agreement, 23.6 million cubic meters of water will be allocated to the Palestinians annually. In actual effect, they have access to twice as much water.

Israel has fulfilled all its obligations under the water agreement regarding the supply of additional quantities of water to the Palestinians, and has even extensively surpassed the obligatory quantity. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have significantly violated their commitments under the water agreement, specifically regarding important issues such as illegal drilling (they have drilled over 250 wells without the authorization of the joint water commission) and handling of sewage (The Palestinians are not constructing sewage treatment plants, despite their obligation to do so. Rather, they allow the sewage to flow unheeded into streams, polluting both the environment and groundwater).

The authors of the report met with MFA officials, and were briefed on all the factual details. They were also presented with the Israeli position paper on the subject, which contained verifiable facts that contradict all the objections presented in the bank's report.

Significantly, the authors chose to ignore the MFA position, and declined to take the facts presented to them into consideration in the published report. They rely totally on unsubstantiated information supplied by the Palestinian Authority, which raises a serious question mark over the credibility of the report and the intentions of its authors.
It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you.

The picture at the top is a Gaza cesspool that collapsed in 2007 because the 'Palestinians' had used money that was supposed to maintain it to buy weapons instead.

The 'international community's boorishness on this issue can only be a message to us from Heaven.

1 Comments:

At 6:51 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel did cooperate with the AI investigators and briefed on the truth about Israeli-Arab water issues only to find themselves on the short end of the stick. Its going to make the Israeli government very leery about cooperating with NGOs in the future unless their agenda is transparent and clear from the outset. AI's report is nowhere close to the truth about Israel's water-sharing arrangements with the Palestinians. The silver lining is that the world's boorishness is helping to convince most Israeli Jews the country cannot afford to take any real risks for peace - it will not be understood even on issues that have nothing to with the IDF's conduct or disputes about territory.

AI's report only underscores the post-Goldstone world in which Israel is now facing the grim reality - it is not a safe place in which to be a Jew.

 

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