In a particularly nasty move, the company that supplies water to the Occupied West Bank, Mekorot, has cut supplies to the Palestinians. It is ironic that the state owned company would restrict the Palestinians living in the Occupied West Bank yet not cut the flow to the illegal Israeli settlers there.
The Palestinians in cities obtain their water from the Mountain Aquifer which runs under both countries. Some water surfaces as springs or dug wells, but the majority is used by Israel. It is an important source of drinking and irrigation water. Israeli citizens depend on the Mountain Aquifer for about 50% of their drinking water and about 40% of the irrigation water also comes from this aquifer. The River Jordan is another very important water source. The Palestinians are left with about 20% of the Mountain Aquifer flow.
For a relatively few years Israel had an abundance of water, augmented by desalination plants, but it is beginning to experience a shortfall in its needs. Palestinians complain that when water is rationed, they are always hit the hardest. Water usage varies greatly depending on which side of the fence you dwell on. Per capita consumption in Israel is about 350 litres per day, in the Occupied West Bank about 60 litres per day.
According to the UN, 7.5 litres per capita per day is the minimum requirement for most people under most conditions but in some areas of Palestine - where temperatures exceed 35 degrees celsius - the minimum requirement is much higher. Al Jazeera
To add to the water problems in the area, the Mountain Aquifer is vulnerable to surface contamination. Both Israeli and Palestinians contribute pollution in the form of solid waste and sewage. More water is being drawn out than is being replenished.
This is the month of Ramadan which is observed by those of the Muslim Faith. It continues until July 5th. During Ramadan followers are required to refrain from eating and drinking, as well as refrain from personal indulgences during daylight hours instead focussing on their faith and their duty to one another. When daylight fades, they may eat and drink. To deny people in their own land access to adequate water especially during Ramadan, seems very mean spirited.
Eco Peace Middle East
Opinion: Since the Six Day War 1967, when Israel fought against a coalition of Arab states and defended itself, it has occupied territory in the State of Palestine. It has gradually encroached on the people living there. Settlements have been built on unceded land. In 1980 Israel declared that it ‘owned’ all of Jerusalem in spite of the UN declaration that the move is illegal and null.
Many Palestinians have had their farms and villages destroyed as the Israeli state has continued to expand. The occupied territories are the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. While the Gaza Strip is controlled by Israel, it is not actually occupied by the Israeli military. It is estimated that at least half a million Israelis are now living on seized Palestinian land.
Crimes against the Palestinians including killing of children, imprisonment of children and killing and imprisonment of civilians for unsubstantiated crimes seem to go unpunished. The horrific murders of a family when someone threw a petrol bomb into their house, killing mother, father, baby and maiming a toddler was just one of many crimes aimed at civilians.
So the world could be forgiven if it looked at yet another atrocity by the Israeli state and turned away. An Israeli soldier was filmed stepping toward a man who lay motionless on the pavement, aiming his side arm at the man’s head and shooting. As the blood ran down the street, the soldier was taken away. The dead man, aged 21 joined his companion who had been killed earlier in the day. The soldiers maintain that the two dead were trying to stab them. The prosecutor for the military court initially announced that a murder charge would be brought against the killer, but it has already been downgraded to manslaughter, a much lesser charge.
On Wednesday, Christof Heyns, the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said: "Whatever legal regime one applies to the case, shooting someone who is no longer a threat is murder." Al Jazeera
There is no doubt that some Palestinians have attacked the Israeli military and civilians in the occupied territories. There have been approximately five fatal stabbings. There have been over 100 Palestinians killed who were purportedly trying to stab Israelis.
When the state of Israel was created at the end of WW2, those Arabs living there were turned into refugees. They lost their homes and possessions. The Israeli government’s aggressive actions towards the people whose land they occupy(formerly part of Jordan) makes the area a much less safe place.
While human rights organization within and without Israel condemn the human rights abuses and the UN censors the actions, the abuses and murders continue.
It is a great puzzlement to me why the USA continues to support this terrorist state.
While the draconian measures passed easily in the Knesset, not all were in agreement with the move.
MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) spoke out against the law, saying “fires cannot be put out with gas, and this law is throwing gas on a fire.” Jerusalem Post
A Palestinian radio station was raided and trashed by Israelis on Monday. It was alleged that the operators were inciting the spate of violence that has erupted in the past few weeks. Stabbings and deadly shootings have resulted in deaths on both sides of the conflicts with the preponderance of deaths young Palestinians.
Authorities threatened to take the Palestinian dead and bury them in unmarked graves, but later relented and returned the corpses to their families.
The state of Israel was formed after the horrors of WW2. Jews were one of the groups targeted by the Nazis and millions were killed. While the Jewish religion began in the Middle East, at the time of WW2 there was no Jewish homeland. One was created where the modern Israeli State is now. Unfortunately those people who were displaced, suffered and were resentful. Some swore to “take back” their territory.
In 1967 surrounding Arab countries prepared to go to war against the small state. Israel conducted pre-emptive air strikes which destroyed their enemies’ air power, seizing large tracts of land and humiliated the Arab coalition. Some of the land seized is referred to as the Occupied Territories.
There have been Jewish settlements built in the area and in doing so nudging the Palestinians living there aside, sometimes with brutal force. Earlier this year a Palestinian family was destroyed when unidentified people set fire to their home, trapping them inside.
The majority follow Christian or Moslem teachings. The government of Israel has taken in millions of people, but they follow Jewish teachings and the government is trying to maintain Israel as a Jewish state.
Those who arrive from Africa are allowed in, but are not welcomed. The majority are kept in camps in the Negev desert. They must check in with the authorities there three times a day. New arrivals are required to spend a year in the desert camp before a temporary visa is issued. If a refugee is found outside the detention centre without a visa, he is subject to deportation. It has become increasingly difficult for visa holders to renew their permit.
In addition to the turmoil in Africa other crises are generating asylum seekers. Syria, Iraq and Yemen are all in a state of war. Israel has been asked by neighbouring Lebanon to accept some people fleeing from the fighting, but have been refused.
Lebanon currently hosts over 160 000 Syrian refugees. Many are not registered with the UN agency so the real number is probably much higher.
Some countries in Europe have stepped up to the plate to accept people fleeing war. Others not so much. The Canadian government has pledged to take in 10 000 people, but few have actually been accepted.
UN Refugee Agency
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