'Palestinians' sabotaging water infrastructure separate from Israel'sOne of the most biting claims that the 'Palestinians' have made is that Israel 'steals' water from them. Because this is an esoteric area, those claims are difficult to answer. The European organization Missing Peace has now investigated those claims and discovered that the 'Palestinians' are not being denied water. In fact, they are not using all of the water that is allocated to them and are doing everything in their power to sabotage the creation of a 'Palestinian' water infrastructure that is separate from Israel's.
On June 15, 2011 The Jerusalem Post published an article about the Palestinian water crisis, written by the head of the Palestinian Water Authority, Dr. Shaddad Atilli.Read the whole thing.
Let’s examine some of the claims in Atilli’s article and compare them with the picture that emerges from the JWC and COGAT documents.
‘Israel delayed and vetoed Palestinian water projects,’ says Atilli.
First of all, article 40 (14) in the Oslo Accords clearly states that all JWC decisions about water projects in the West Bank need mutual agreement.
Once approved, JWC projects for the territories under Palestinian control (Areas A and B) do not need any further Israeli involvement.
Projects in Area C, where Israel is in control, need approval from the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA).
Since 2000 the PWA submitted 76 requests for permits to the office of the Civil Administration.
Subsequently 73 permits were issued by ICA and three denied because there was no master plan.
In a letter of June 8 2009, Shalev responded to Atilli’s complaint that ICA did not honor a PWA request to issue 12 of these permits. Shalev wrote that these permits had already been issued in 2001, and that ICA wondered why the PWA did not execute these projects.
Another 44 JWC-approved projects, the majority in Areas A and B, like the construction of a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) in Jenin that received approval in 2008 - have not been implemented. The German government even withdraw a plan to build a WWTP in Tulkarm when it concluded that the PWA could not handle the project.
‘Israel allocates only 10% of the shared water sources to the Palestinians’ claims Atilli.
The water quota for the West Bank were mutually agreed upon in the Oslo Accords. As a result, 33% of the water in the aquifers under the West Bank is allocated to the Palestinians.
In 1993 the Palestinians could pump up 117 million cubic meters and Israel would provide an additional 31 million. In 2007 200 million cubic meters were allocated to the PA, of which Israel provided 51.8 million.
However, of those 200 million cubic meters, only 180 million were actually used.
The main reason for this is that the PWA did not implement projects in the Eastern aquifer that would have solved much of the Palestinian water crisis. More than half of the wells approved for exploitation of the Eastern aquifer have still not been drilled. The permits were issued in 2000.
In a letter written on April 4, 2001, the civil administration urged the PWA to execute these projects. A letter from June 8 2009 repeated that request.
Atilli also lied about Palestinian water consumption. In the JPost article he claimed that Palestinians are ‘limited to an average of just 60 liters.’ However, in 2009 his own PWA published a report that mentioned an average supply of 110 liters per capita per day.
Like so many other areas, the 'Palestinians' never were interested in water projects. All that interested them is how many weapons they could get, how much money the leadership could put in its bank accounts, and how much money they could provide to the 'martyrs' and the terror enablers. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of running a state, the 'Palestinians' lose interest. Does anyone really believe this will change if the United Nations approves their unilateral declaration of 'statehood' next month?
Many years ago, I heard Natan Sharansky speak to a group of Ivy League alumni. Sharansky had served as Minister of Industry and Trade in the Rabin government that entered into the Oslo accords. He said that when he met with his 'Palestinian' counterpart, he had tried many different means of promoting joint economic projects that would build a 'Palestinian' economy. There was no interest. All they wanted was guns and money. And that's all they want today.
What could go wrong?