In occupied Palestine, life is different when temperatures rise in the summer from the rest of the world, where everyone goes to enjoy the swimming pools. However, here people cannot even find water to drink, as the Israeli occupation has implemented measures to control the Palestinian water sources.
The situation in Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps is getting worst and worst. Because of the shortage of water, Ali Salim, a resident of Al-Khadertown, west of Bethlehem located near the apartheid wall, adjacent to the military tower, cannot find water to drink, especially in the summer.
Salim told PNN that he and his neighbors suffer from a water shortage especially in the summer when the Israeli authorities reduce the amount of water to more than two-thirds of the amount that should be pumped by them.
He added that many Palestinian officials visited them and promised to solve the problem but no solutions were done and we know that there is nothing in the hands of the Palestinian Authority “PA” adding that he build a water well to solve the problem the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed it.
The mayor of Al-Khader Municipality, Ibrahim Moussa, confirmed during an interview with PNN that the residents of the town suffer from the water problem, which is an old and renewable problem, noting that its main cause is the occupation because the area of Al-Khader is located in an anti-occupation area.
He added that the water reaches the town for limited periods, stressing that there are areas where water does not reach for long periods, such as Umm Rakba and Jabal Abu Sud, noting that during this period the Palestinian Water Authority and the Bethlehem Water Administration are trying hard to deliver water, adding that they are working in Al-Khader Municipality to reach a solution to the problem but they couldn’t because of the water in Israeli habds.
This suffering is the outcome of the Israeli decision to cut water sublease to Palestinian cities through Mekorot, the Israeli national water company, which provides Bethlehem for example with 70% of its water needs.
Akram Nassar director of “WSSA” Bethlehem water authority said that they faced a real challenge during the last two months, due to the suspension of the supply from the sources of the Israeli “Mekorot” company. He stressed that the distribution program they planned at every beginning of the month is collapsing because of the Israeli decisions.
These Israeli actions pushed Palestinian to call the international community to stop Israeli policies from stealing their natural resources including water as Bethlehem Governer Kamel Hmaed told PNN.
Bethlehem governor said that the water problem in Palestine, in general, is a problem that has a direct relationship with the occupation and its decision on the ground. He asserts that before the signing of the “Oslo” agreements, there was a considering problem since 1967, such as the gap between the amount of water disbursement between Palestinian citizens and Israeli settlers.
Hmaed added that even after the signing of the “Oslo” agreement, and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, the occupation policy in the process of stealing water from the Palestinian population and all areas did not change. This could explain that there is a clear and determined policy since the beginning, which ensures that the Palestinians do not have the quantities available.
He stressed that the quantities of water that were pumped to the Palestinians did not change after the agreement was signed, adding that despite 25 years, and despite the fact that the Palestinian population has doubled the amount of water pumped to Palestinians has remained the same without doubling.
He added that the occupation authorities control the water sources completely, and this occupation policy will not change, whether with regard to groundwater, or even in artesian wells, and areas where we can find water meters away, as in the Jordan Valley or some governorates.
He explained that the Bethlehem governorate is a model for this occupation policy and that it has many water natural resources and wells, more than ten wells approximately in this governorate, and large quantities of this water. But this water is stolen and pumped into the settlements and into the Green Line “Israel”.
The quantities of pumped water for the Palestinians are at the minimum and less than the minimum, and the number of liters for the Palestinians is one-third of the liters allocated to the Israeli settlers.
He pointed out that Israel does not want the Palestinians to rely on themselves on the issue of water in the areas of drinking water, agricultural water, and the local Palestinian industry.
While seeing the Israeli settlement green and enjoying swimming pools all Palestinian believe that Israel adopts systematic policies to force them to leave their country but they still believe that the conscience of the international community will stop these Israeli racist practices.