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
Military personnel were sent to camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan to interview prospective immigrants. They were assisted by UN personnel and numerous checks of identity and background were conducted before the refugees were given the green light to emigrate to Canada.
Canada Border Services Agency(CBSA) has worked closely with Pearson Airport officials to bring online a vacant terminal separate from the commercial part of the complex to enhance the ability to further screen new arrivals.
"With our many partners, we have worked to make new arrivals as comfortable as possible, while protecting the integrity of the arrival process," said the CBSA's Regional Director General Goran Vragovic in a news release.
As well as finalizing the paperwork, the new arrivals will be given warm clothing appropriate for their destination.
It may come as a surprise to many that many of the people who live in the camps do not wish to emigrate. Their wish is to return to their own country when peace is achieved.
Those that arrived on Thursday were personally greeted by PM Justin Trudeau who was filmed helping new residents with warm clothes.
The US is often referred to as the world’s policeman. It comes with a high cost in people’s lives and money. For the past three years, according to the CIA’s World Factbook, the US has used 4.35% or more of its GDP(Gross Domestic Product) value on the military. This added up to USD$610 billion in 2014, more than any other country.
Supplying other countries with arms, ammunition and the latest in planes, drone, robots, etc., is big business. The multi-billion dollar trade has the US leading in sales, followed by Russia. Of the top ten companies supplying military gear, six are based in the US. Hundreds of thousands of people are employed by what has been called the industrial/military complex.
Some peaceniks have even been so bold as to opine that the business of war is too profitable to abandon.
Defense Industry Daily
Peter C. Peterson Foundation
SIPRI Military Expenditure Database
Refugees -- too many, too much noise, too much garbage. Humans are messy creatures and when you have a mass exodus from a war zone you get some unwanted side effects. Millions of people have been displaced by the wars in the Middle East and many are risking their lives to start anew in safer places.
Some countries in Europe are slamming their borders shut, saying that they cannot cope with the thousands of people on the move. Hungary has shut its borders. Chain link and razor wire greet the refugees. The Hungarian authorities have threatened to deport the refugees to their home countries, no matter that there is a particularly nasty war raging.
Slovakia is stopping people at its borders and only allowing smaller groups to transit their territory.
Some countries like Sweden, Austria and most notably Germany have committed to take many of the asylum seekers. But Der Spiegel is reporting that in Germany the welcome mat is beginning to wear thin. The small village of Hesepe in Lower Saxony has 2 500 residents. They are currently hosting 4 000 safety seekers. Disruption to the usual way of life is inevitable, yet the residents remain remarkably hospitable.
Other areas have not been so welcoming. Bigots and white supremists have been blamed for fire bombing a recently completed apartment building planned to house refugees.
Germany has registered over 400 000 people fleeing warfare between September 5 and October 15, a staggering number. Basic supplies and shelters are lacking in many areas.
With winter fast approaching, Chancellor Angela Merkel made an emergency trip to Turkey to speak with their president about slowing the crush of people. It is not clear if any real changes would be made in Turkey to entice refugees to stay in that country. While that state has basic facilities for refugees, some have been lingering there three and four years. They are not allowed work permits so remain supplicants of the state. President ErdoAan has stated that he would not turn Turkey into “a concentration camp” for the benefit of Europe.
The plight of the people trying to reach safer ground is the lead story on the television news stations. Cold rain is falling on the people and children are falling ill. There seems to be no coordinated plans to deal with the reality of the large movement of people.
To add to the difficulties of housing and sheltering the refugees, hundreds of thousands of migrants have targeted Europe as a way to a better life. Italy has borne the brunt of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Yet what Europe is currently coping with may be just the beginning of mass human movements. It has been predicted that global warming in the next 50 years will displace hundreds of millions of people who can no longer survive in their traditional homelands.
UN Refugee Agency
His visit to his grandparents in Toronto may include a long car or bus ride. Canada’s security agency maintains a list of people who are banned from flying. It is called the Specified Persons List and the names are kept secret. The criteria for being placed on the list may be a “reasonable suspicion” of bad behavior. Unfortunately, a person who has had their name placed on the list will only find out that they are banned from a flight after they have bought a ticket and attempted to clear security.
Khadr’s permission to visit his grandparents in the company of his lawyer must be undertaken before the end of 2015. He has two weeks to complete the visit.
Khadr’s family had been supporters of the Al Qaeda movement and personal friends of the Bin Ladens. His father was killed in Afghanistan and a brother severely wounded. His mother and sister were active in the press denouncing Canada and our way of life which garnered little sympathy for their youngest son. The CBC has reported that Khadr’s mother and sister are not currently living in Canada.
This is a complex situation where there are no winners, only losers. Khadr was taken to Afghanistan by his jihadist parents. He was present during a fire fight there in which he was severely wounded. He spent his teen years in a ‘black’ prison among jihadists. A US medic lost his life and his young family mourns his death. The harm and loss go on and on.
Omar Khadr granted bail by Alberta judge
Omar Khadr granted bail
Public Safety Canada
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