Climate Catastrophe and Israel’s Denial of Palestinians’ Access to Water: Two Aspects of Contemporary Barbarism

Amnesty International has recently released two reports on Israeli water policy that present a rather thoroughgoing indictment of the Zionist colonization project broadly conceived. Entitled “Thirsting for Justice: Palestinian Access to Water Restricted” and “Troubled Waters: Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water,” the reports join many other studies of both more and less recent memory that have provided similar perspectives critical of Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinian people. In the reports, Amnesty finds the Israeli state to be fundamentally violating the right to water of the 4 million Palestinians living under its ongoing military occupation, and hence also to be massively violating Palestinians’ right to an adequate standard of living. It seems important to consider that this aspect of Israel’s active deprivation of the Palestinian people in many ways mirrors and previews the acute deprivation of much of the world’s population that capitalist societies are enacting through their contributions to dangerous anthropogenic interference with the Earth’s climate

For those familiar with the present situation in Palestine, Amnesty’s reports may not prove to be terribly surprising; they are, however, no less offensive and shocking for all that. Amnesty finds that Israelis consume over 80 percent of the water available in the so-called Mountain Aquifer that lies beneath the West Bank, leaving the remaining 20 percent for the 2.3 million West Bank-residing Palestinians. Indeed, it is claimed that these 2.3 million consume a total amount of water equal to or less than that consumed by the 450,000 Israeli settlers living illegally in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Amnesty’s reports further find that Palestinians are totally barred from accessing the waters of the Jordan River, and that some 200,000 rural-dwelling Palestinians go without access to running water in the present day. Palestinian daily per capita consumption of water, we are told, stands at 70 liters, some 30 short of the minimum daily amount recommended by the World Health Organization. According to Amnesty, furthermore, between 90 and 95 percent of the water available to Gazan Palestinians is contaminated and hence “unfit for human consumption.”

The two reports explore this systematic life-denial in detail. Though the reports caution that recent episodes of drought in the region are to account in some way for these bleak statistics, Amnesty also make clear that discriminatory Israeli policies bear far more of the blame for the general situation. It examines some of the various military orders imposed by Israel following the capture of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 that relate to the problem of water in the occupied territories—one establishes complete control by the Israeli military over water resources in the region, and another requires that any construction by Palestinians of new water installations be authorized by an Israeli-issued permit. Amnesty tells us that only 13 such permits were issued in the nearly 30 years that the Israeli military handled water permits prior to transferring such responsibilities to the Oslo-created Palestinian Water Authority. The reports further explore the rendering-inaccessible to Palestinians of several water-rich areas of the West Bank designated by Israel as closed military zones in addition to the destruction on several occasions of existing Palestinian water infrastructure in both Gaza and the West Bank as well as the forced displacement of a number of Palestinian communities whose water resources have been confiscated by Israeli occupation forces. Amnesty also examines the implications of the Israeli separation barrier for Palestinian access to water: it finds that the wall’s route within the West Bank, together with the settlements it protects, affords Israel access to the areas deemed best for the extraction of water from the Mountain Aquifer. It hardly need be said that such privileged access comes by means of the denial of the same to Palestinians, many of whom have seen their former access to wells entirely cut off. Amnesty’s reports also focus on the decidedly detrimental effects of the Israeli blockade of Gaza for the water situation there, as restrictions on the movement of goods constrain Gazans’ ability to maintain existing water and sanitation facilities and rebuild those destroyed by Israel during its attack of December 2008 and January 2009.

Amnesty’s reports find Israel’s water policies to flagrantly violate several extant tenets of international law, most notably the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Beyond such condemnations, though, comes rhetoric deeply critical of the Zionist project in general: Amnesty complements the findings of its reports by claiming Israel’s policy as a whole to be “to limit the overall amount of water (and land) available to the Palestinian population, while preserving for itself privileged access to most of the water and land in the OPT.”

The water situation in Palestine, then, is monstrous, just as is much else related to the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine. Indeed, Israeli water policy is reminiscent of what Salih Booker and William Minter refer to in a different context as global apartheid, ((“Global Apartheid.” The Nation, 21 June 2001.)) and in this sense parallels many similar horrors of the contemporary world. One of the most pressing such parallels that bears mention here is that of climate change.

Climate change, or global warming, refers to the looming catastrophic atmospheric changes that have accompanied the historical rise of industrial capitalism. As is well-known, the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouses gases for which industrial-capitalist societies have been responsible threatens to radically deprive the access of much of currently existing humanity and many of its potential descendants to water. It is in the destruction by Israel of Palestinian cisterns and water-treatment plants as in its rendering of entire Palestinian communities into environmental refugees through the wholesale cutting-off of their access to water that can be seen a few of the likely realities of the totality toward which the world is moving as a result of climate change.

The likely future of access to water in such a world is dark, indeed. George Monbiot of The Guardian writes that an increase in average global temperatures of 1.5° C—that is, a mere 0.7-0.8° C beyond the level relative to pre-industrial temperatures that has already been achieved due to historical emissions—exposes some 400 million humans to what he refers to rather dryly as water stress, while an average global temperature increase of 2.1° C is estimated to place between 2.3 and 3 billion people at risk of outright water shortages. ((Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning (Cambridge, Massachusetts: South End Press, 2007), p. 15, 6.)) Monbiot’s compatriot Mark Lynas finds a 2° C rise in average global temperatures to nearly eradicate the mountain glaciers on which the millions who currently reside in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia depend upon for their water, and he claims a 3° C such rise to imply a drastic reduction in the Himalayan glaciers that today provide life for more than half of humanity. ((Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2008), p. 102-107, 159-167.))

Without serious action aimed at mitigating the consequences of climate change in the near term, these average temperatures increases—to say nothing of even more apocalyptic ones—will likely come to pass. A poll conducted in April found nine out of ten climatologists to believe that humanity would fail to limit global warming to 2° C, ((David Adam. “World will not meet 2C warming target, climate change experts agree,” The Guardian 14 April 2009.)) while the UK Met Office recently concluded that a 4° C average-temperature increase—a temperature increase that Met scientists claim would threaten the water supply of half the world’s population—could well occur by the year 2060. ((David Adam. “Met Office warns of catastrophic global warming in our lifetimes,” The Guardian 28 September 2009.)) Just two weeks ago, in fact, scientists with the Global Carbon Project found the prospect of a 6° C average-temperature increase by the end of the century—an eventuality that would problematize the existence of the vast majority of currently existing humanity—to be entirely within the realm of possibility. ((Steve Connor and Michael McCarthy. “World on course for catastrophic 6°C rise, reveal scientists,” The Independent, 18 November 2009.))

With regard to climate change then, present reality seems far worse than even the most pessimistic observers could have imagined some time ago. Both the present concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as well as their current rates of emission are far higher than they should be if much of humanity is to have a chance of flourishing in the foreseeable future. The world’s leaders, especially the most powerful among them, have decidedly failed to address this emergency with the sense of urgency it requires. The climate legislation proposed by the lawmaking body of the society most responsible for climate change—the United States—calls for reductions in carbon emissions on a scale entirely inadequate for preventing catastrophic climate change, and Barack Obama has recently expressed that no binding treaty should be expected from the decidedly critical Copenhagen climate summit that will take place next month. Parallels with other examples of imperial arrogance—the recent overwhelming rejection by U.S. legislators of the Goldstone report, for example, or the Obama administration’s caving on the question of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem—could be made.

Reflection on the active deprivation of Palestinians by Israel highlighted in Amnesty’s recent reports on water may help to illuminate the deprivation of humanity generally considered that is being prosecuted by capitalist societies’ contributions to climate catastrophe and their concurrent lack of action aimed at mitigating such. The racist monstrousness implicit in both these projects must surely be resisted as such; indeed, resistance to the suffering inflicted by the Zionist project should be complemented by resistance to the suffering brought about by climate change, for, as the German social critic Max Horkheimer writes, it is crucial that people come to oppose injustice not just in the particular, as in Palestine, Iraq, Darfur, Afghanistan, or Tibet, but instead in general, as a whole. ((Sociedad, razón y libertad (Madrid: Editorial Trotta, 2005), p. 126. )) It is imperative that opposition to the totality somehow be effectively realized rather soon, for the overturning of currently prevailing trends—of barbarism—may not only help the Palestinians in their struggle to reverse the ordeals that have been imposed upon them; debarbarization, in the words of Horkheimer’s friend and colleague Theodor W. Adorno, may indeed constitute “the immediate prerequisite for survival.” ((Critical Models (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2005), p. 190.))

Javier Sethness is an educator, translator, and libertarian socialist. He the author of Imperiled Life: Revolution against Climate Catastrophe, For a Free Nature: Critical Theory, Social Ecology, and Post-Developmentalism, and he is currently finishing a political and intellectual biography of Herbert Marcuse. Read other articles by Javier, or visit Javier's website.

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  1. Don Hawkins said on December 4th, 2009 at 11:51am #

    Hello have you heard of climategate? I know for years now I have been witting about how serious climate change is but I have seen the light. We have to face it people like Christopher Monckton and James Inhofe the GOP in the States are right it’s a hoax. The Democrats also know it’s a hoax because cap and trade does nothing to solve anything there is nothing to solve it’s a hoax. The only reason they are doing it is to make people on the left happy these people are very smart and we should all listen to them. How could I have been so wrong our leaders are looking out for us and Fox New’s is the best for looking out for us again how could I have been so wrong. I know I wrote we should organize and go to the Capital then New York for a little get together but I was wrong I get it now it’s a hoax and Glenn Beck was right how did he know. We need to go to tea party’s and drill baby drill and no new tax’s and health care again if they were right on climate change they must be right on health care we need to leave it the same it work’s ok or maybe a few minor changes whatever they think best. The Palestinian problem and water and children, women, men, families at least here in the States put that out of your mind our leaders are in control and like climate change just a hoax again don’t hit the streets I was wrong go shopping or watch TV. Hay I saw a new commercial on TV the other day and this singer I forget her name dressed to the hilt and had the look high heel’s said I don’t want to save the World I just want to save cable. You see we have to embrace the system put our heart and soul into it it is our friend. How could I have been to wrong? I will keep witting comments but my witting will change a little as once you see the light the truth rushes at you like a freight train. Listen to your leaders they love you very very much and know best. Al it’s ok take the jet it’s a hoax more of us are seeing that now. USA USA USA drill baby drill.

  2. deceschi said on December 4th, 2009 at 1:30pm #

    It is at least useful to clarify that AI didn’t consult at all the Israeli Water Autority for its report. This means, the latter is mainly grounded on informations and figures issued by the PWA, which is biased for obvious political reasons. This article, in turn, refer only to the IA report. So now we see how it often works with the so-called criticism (say bashing) of Israel. A one-sided biased article, based on a partial incomplete report, which draws on a political and ideological “contaminated” involved source. I don’t say the Israeli settlements policy is right, but some more balanced and well-founded research that meets the basic canons of scientific standard, would make your fight for justice and truth a bit more credible. What you are doing here is nothing but add counter-productive ideological fuel to the fire.
    As for the global water issue, we are all sinners, we all – with our cars, industries and all the other polluting human activities – burn up in smoke millions of tons of oil day after day, paid dearly to the oil producing dictatorships, specially of the Middle East. Pollution, global warming and the resulting water scarcity in many and wide places in the world, so also in ME, are the bitter ominous fruit of an insane energy policy since decades, no, since more than a century, based largely on the consumption of and the dependence on oil – particularly by the United States of America, but in general by the whole West, and now also by the emerging countries. And how we can already predict for the aftermath of next bankruptcy climate conference in Copenhagen, the only hope to stop this tremendous global race to the consumtion of oil, seems to be its peak which, however, is probably to arrive too late.

  3. Ismail Zayid said on December 4th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    This Israeli policy of denying the Palestinian people in the West Bank has been ongoing throughout the last 42 years of Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. The report by Amnesty International is fully supported by all international as well as Israeli human rights groups,including B’Tselem. There is continuing Israeli theft of water from the Mountain aquifers in the West Bank, directed for the interest of the illegal settlements as well as water used in Israel. The atrocity, of using this stolen water to create green grass lawns and gardens in the illegal Israeli colonies [settlements], while the Palestinians are denied adequate drinking water, is there to be seen by all who visit this tortured land. Palestinians are not permitted to dig water wells on their own land, as stiplulated by the occupying forces. These policies are in clear violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and are an application of the Zionist programme of ethnic cleansing that continues by subjecting the Palestinian people to an oppressive occupation and denial of all basic elements of human life, planned to force them to leave their homeland.

    All this goes on and the U.S. and its allies remain silent while these Israeli war crimes continue. It is time that the international community should apply pressure on Israel to bring this illegal occupation to an end.

  4. David said on December 4th, 2009 at 3:41pm #

    For deceschi’s edification:

    Israel’s denial of water to Palestinians in the occupied territories should come as no surprise. It is perfectly consistent with Israel’s 61 years of brutal dispossession, ethnic cleansing, occupation and oppression of Palestine’s native people.

    Indeed, according to a recent World Bank report, “Israel has aggrandized a growing share of available water supplies while intensifying Palestinian reliance on Mekorot, the Jewish state’s national water carrier. The report states that Israel, without the approval of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee (JWC) – a legacy of the [1993] Oslo process – draws more than 50 per cent from the aquifers that support both the West Bank and Israel beyond what it is authorized under the accords. Needless to say, Palestinian protests of such violations are routinely ignored, according to the report…. Palestinians must now pay an estimated 8 per cent of their household budgets for adequate water supplies, about double the globally accepted standard. That is beyond the capacity of many Palestinian families, and revenues have fallen precipitously in the parts of the West Bank under Palestinian administration.

    “Rural villagers who are unconnected to the water grid must allocate up to 20 per cent of their household income for tanker-born drinkable water, an increasingly expensive enterprise due to the proliferation of Israel-controlled checkpoints, the massive, serpentine security wall and other barriers to mobility throughout the West Bank. Sanitation and sewage systems have been badly neglected due to unstable security conditions and Israeli restrictions on movement. Sewage is returned untreated into lagoons, wadis and the sea or seeps into the soil where it ultimately contaminates aquifers. In rural areas, septic tanks are not properly emptied, while Israel’s settler population routinely dumps raw sewage on to Palestinian soil. Just as Israel controls the borders, roads, air and sea ports, airspace and export revenue on which the Palestinian economy vitally depends, so too does it control Palestinian water resources via Mekorot, an unhealthy reliance intensified by Israeli over-extraction of available supplies. Mekorot’s dominant role in water distribution, the report states, ‘makes [the West Bank and Gaza] vulnerable to Israeli decisions and interventions, and may increase commercial risks and costs’…. Israel, the report lays out, routinely decides unilaterally how regional water sources will or will not be developed.” ((“World Bank finds Israel’s water policy hard to swallow” by Stephen Glain, 28 April 2009 )

  5. kalidas said on December 4th, 2009 at 4:14pm #

    How fitting that even as these cretins pour sewage into Palestine it is Israel which is known throughout the world as “that shitty little country.”

  6. B99 said on December 4th, 2009 at 4:55pm #

    Well, Dizzy – this is not an area where you can even begin to hold your own, let alone win. Water issues in Palestine are close to my heart. You want Israeli opinions? Consult the work of Israeli Meron Benvenisti.

    The situation that Israel has put the Palestinians in regards water is on par with the worst that humans have done to humans anywhere anytime in the history or geography of humanity. Probably at least as important amongst reasons Israel holds onto the West Bank is because of the water in the Tananim and other mountain aquifers of the West Bank . West Bank water supplies Israel with fully 40% of all water consumed in Israel. Israel intends to keep this land and the water under it. In the meantime, as the article points out, Palestinians are absolutely denied permits to drill new wells or deepen existing wells. Palestinian wells are often about 100 meters deep – deep enough to reach the water table back in the day. Settler wells can be 350 -400 meters deep and deeper. They provide copious amounts of water so that Jews can have gardens and groves and their children can swim in open air pools in summer. The Jewish wells severely draw down the water table rendering Palestinian wells dry. Requests for permits by Palestinians go in to limbo -as the article states, only 13 have been approved in all these decades – usually the permit winds up in a kafkaesque situation – the permit is neither approved nor denied – it disappears into the Jewish system. Palestinians cannot even plant a tomato without permission (and as you can guess, permission is not forthcoming).

    I should add that the article refers to Israeli settlers. There is no requirement that the settlers be Israeli . They need only be Jewish. Non-Jews are not permitted to settle on the WB – not even Druze who serve in the IDF.

    More to follow!

  7. B99 said on December 4th, 2009 at 4:57pm #

    Kalidas – or as a Canadian diplomat referred to Israel – ‘That little snot of a country.” He was, of course, reprimanded.

  8. David said on December 4th, 2009 at 6:21pm #


    Kudos to you!!! While Jewish settler colonists splash about in swimming pools and frolic on green grass maintained with stolen water in short supply, Palestinians are denied enough to drink and bathe let alone nourish their crops which are increasingly under attack by insane Jewish occupiers. This is a crime against humanity of major proportion, truly grotesque and depraved. I cannot comprehend how people can be so cruel.

  9. Rehmat said on December 4th, 2009 at 8:11pm #

    Stealing Arab water sources for the survival and prosperity of European Jewish settlements in Palestine – has been on the World zionist Movement since the early 19th century. The first water-based European Roshbina Jewish settlement was built in spring and water rich Upper Galilee in 1878. In 1903, the Egyptian government turned-down Zionist movement’s request to divert the course of the Nile River to Sinai and Negev in Palestine to build Jewish settlements. In 1937, the British mandate authories conducted a study to divert water from Yarmuk in Transjordan for its future plan for the partition of Palestine. In 1978, Zionist regime occupied southern Lebanon and took control of Al-Wazzani and Al-Hasbani rivers. In 1982, it extended its control over Litani River. In fact the Zionist robbers pumped Lebanese water to its northern settlements for over two decades until its forces were forced to vacate most of southern Lebanon by Hizb’Allah fighters in 2000.

    During 1965-66, Israeli tanks and military planes shelled and bombed Syrian attempts to divert the waters from Hatzhani and Banyas rivers – in order to stop Israelis stealing it to develop Jewish settlements in the Negev Desert.

    Israel controls 80% of the groundwater in the West Bank. The Jewish settlements around Hebron have no trouble gaining water and at a much less cost from Mekorot, the Israeli national company. The Jews settlers are charged 4 shekels per cubic meter for the piped water-distribution network – which the cost Native Muslims and Christians 15-50 shekels for the tankered water supply…………….

  10. Orest Slepokura said on December 4th, 2009 at 8:24pm #

    History does not stand still — Time marches on. And as they do, the population of the world’s Muslims is skyrocketing, reaching toward 2 billion and beyond. There’s no doubt but that in a few years America will execute an ignominious, Saigon-like retreat from Kabul and Baghdad, and that a mood of hard, collective resolve will galvanize the teeming masses gathered beneath the banner of Islam in the wake of U.S. defeat. And then? Well, let’s just say they will be further galvanized by the deeply ugly spectacle of the never ending persecution of their brethren in Palestine and in all conscience resolved to put an end to it. Israel and its stanchest ally America are riding into a perfect storm, heedless of the telltale headwinds (a moribund U.S. economy, bankruptcy of Zionist ideology, savvy new generation of political activists in the Muslim vanguard coming of age, etc. etc.).

  11. Shabnam said on December 4th, 2009 at 10:06pm #


    Everyone knows the HISTOREY OF THE Zionist and their supporters. What is the purpose of writing about it every day? We have to act NOW THAN LATER. We cannot rely on the Western population at all. We must unite immediately as ONE against these war criminals. Israel and Bush administration staged 9/11 to frame MUSLIMS to form the phony “war on terror” to kill millions of Muslim and steal their resources.
    Russia, like the United States is with the zionist and terrorist state of Israel, and Putin is going to visit the occupied land in the coming year. When do the Arab head of states want to understand that is not the Arab interest to cooperate with the Zionists against the people in the region?
    The terrorist state of Russia has done whatever she could to humiliate Iran to cooperate with the enemy of humanity, Israel, what are you going to do about it? Russia has always sided with the enemy of Arabs, Palestinian and Iranians, what are you going to do about. I am sick and tired of talking. We cannot do anything except all people to be united against these Bastard Zionist mass murderers and their fifth column in the region. The Zionist mass murderers has just introduced their petty servants including Zahra Rahnavard, Mousavi’s wife, Soroush , all agent of the ‘velvet revolution’ who tried to label Iranian election as ‘fraud’ like the closet zionist , Chomsky and Juan Cole, a Bahai, and number of other Muslim agents and traitors as ‘opposition’ in the 100 influential ‘thinkers’ list in Foreign policy Journal own by the Washington Post, a Zionist newspaper, What are you going to do? How can we organize the entire population of the region from Mauritania to Pakistan against these mass murderers? You cannot trust the population of the west because they have benefited from the killing of other groups. The Black puppet in the WH, Obama, is even worse than Bush. HE HAS NO RESPECT amongst population of the region. He is EXECUTING THE ZIONIST’S AGENDA NOT TO BE DISCARDED FROM THE WHITE HOUSE EARLER TO keep HIS ‘privilege.’

  12. Annie Ladysmith said on December 4th, 2009 at 11:03pm #

    THERE IS NO STINKING CLIMATE WARMING THING. Yes, there is climate CHANGE, every perimeter is hitting EXTREME calculations.
    Cold/COLDER, hot/HOTER, huricanes/BIGGER AND MORE INTENSE, earthquakes/MORE and MORE DESTRUCTIVE on and on. THERE IS NOTHING MAN CAN DO TO CHANGE THIS, and it’s just getting started. WE are not able to change the forces of nature one little degree, to think we can is utter hubris.

  13. Mary said on December 5th, 2009 at 3:57am #

    Deceschi has his facts wrong. I was at Amnesty to hear the Christisons speak a little while ago and I got the chance to speak to one of their officers who is directly involved with Palestine and Gaza. I asked him if it was correct that they only used Palestinian sources of information in their report and he laughed and gave me a long list of bodies that were consulted inc UN bodies like UNWRA, the World Bank etc.

    Last night I went to London again to hear Ronnie Kasrils from South Africa who confirmed that Israel is most definitely an apartheid state, directly comparable to South Africa yet much worse in that the extirpation of the Palestinian people is required by the Zionists. Omar Barghouti (PACBI) spoke about the water shortage, the pollution of the aquifer and the man made diseases arising from the high levels of nitrates in the poisoned water. He also spoke of the successes of the BDS campaign which is five years old today and said that it is being very effective in bringing Israel to heel. Professor Steven Rose who founded BRICUP stressed the importance of extending and maintaining a complete academic boycott of Israel. It was an inspiring meeting held at SOAS and there was standing room only in the lecture theatre. It was uplifting to see so many young people there. A girl in front of me was silently weeping when Omar Barghouti was reciting some of the T shirt slogans that the Cast Lead IDF soldiers in Gaza were wearing (eg ‘one shot = 2 kills’ on a picture of a pregnant Palestinian woman with the gun crosshairs on her belly ) and hearing of some their hate-filled testimonies.

    I saw this earlierreference to a CIA report but hope that it doesn’t take as long as 20 years for change.

    CIA report: Israel will fall in 20 years
    Fri, 13 Mar 2009 14:44:41 GMT

    International lawyer Franklin Lamb (photo)

    A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast doubt over Israel’s survival beyond the next 20 years.

    The CIA report predicts “an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.”

    The study, which has been made available only to a certain number of individuals, further forecasts the return of all Palestinian refugees to the occupied territories, and the exodus of two million Israeli – who would move to the US in the next fifteen years.

    “There are over 500,000 Israelis with American passports and more than 300,000 living in the area of just California,” International lawyer Franklin Lamb said in an interview with Press TV on Friday, adding that those who do not have American or Western passports have already applied for them.

    “So I think the handwriting at least among the public in Israel is on the wall…[which] suggests history will reject the colonial enterprise sooner or later,” Lamb stressed.

    He said CIA, in its report, alludes to the unexpectedly quick fall of the apartheid government in South Africa and recalls the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, suggesting the end to the dream of an ‘Israeli land’ would happen ‘way sooner’ than later.

    The study further predicts the return of over one and a half million Israelis to Russia and other parts of Europe, and denotes a decline in Israeli births whereas a rise in the Palestinian population.

    Lamb said given the Israeli conduct toward the Palestinians and the Gaza strip in particular, the American public — which has been voicing its protest against Tel Aviv’s measures in the last 25 years — may ‘not take it anymore’.

    Some members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have been informed of the report.


  14. Don Hawkins said on December 5th, 2009 at 5:53am #

    Sent this to Fox New’s Channel this morning and climategate yes there is a climategate alright. Again Bush and company got the hate started but doesn’t change the truth one little bit as a few would like us to think or not think.

    Good morning,

    First let’s read this.

    “It won’t be very long before we have to start thinking of the Arctic as an open sea. Man has taken the lid off the northern end of his planet and we can’t put that lid back on again”. Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Physics Group

    Who is Wadhams well one of the best minds we have and let me add that even without the science what we see now with our own eye’s back’s him up. I will put the latest research below and just on the off chance it is correct remember the what we see with are own eye’s part then why do we still have ice at the poles. Because we put the gas back rather fast, rate the old industrial revolution. Snow in Houston well the weather patterns are now already changing in human terms somewhat slow and will take a few years more for the Oceans to warm but they will. Then what happens very tuff day’s for humans and other life forms the tuff day’s have already started for many places can you think of any?

    Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago, Scientists Report

    Aradhna Tripati. (Credit: Image courtesy of UCLA)ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — You would have to go back at least 15 million years to find carbon dioxide levels on Earth as high as they are today, a UCLA scientist and colleagues report Oct. 8 in the online edition of the journal Science.
    “The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today — and were sustained at those levels — global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland,” said the paper’s lead author, Aradhna Tripati, a UCLA assistant professor in the department of Earth and space sciences and the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences.
    “Carbon dioxide is a potent greenhouse gas, and geological observations that we now have for the last 20 million years lend strong support to the idea that carbon dioxide is an important agent for driving climate change throughout Earth’s history,” she said.
    By analyzing the chemistry of bubbles of ancient air trapped in Antarctic ice, scientists have been able to determine the composition of Earth’s atmosphere going back as far as 800,000 years, and they have developed a good understanding of how carbon dioxide levels have varied in the atmosphere since that time. But there has been little agreement before this study on how to reconstruct carbon dioxide levels prior to 800,000 years ago.
    Tripati, before joining UCLA’s faculty, was part of a research team at England’s University of Cambridge that developed a new technique to assess carbon dioxide levels in the much more distant past — by studying the ratio of the chemical element boron to calcium in the shells of ancient single-celled marine algae. Tripati has now used this method to determine the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere as far back as 20 million years ago.
    “We are able, for the first time, to accurately reproduce the ice-core record for the last 800,000 years — the record of atmospheric C02 based on measurements of carbon dioxide in gas bubbles in ice,” Tripati said. “This suggests that the technique we are using is valid.
    “We then applied this technique to study the history of carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago to 20 million years ago,” she said. “We report evidence for a very close coupling between carbon dioxide levels and climate. When there is evidence for the growth of a large ice sheet on Antarctica or on Greenland or the growth of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, we see evidence for a dramatic change in carbon dioxide levels over the last 20 million years.
    “A slightly shocking finding,” Tripati said, “is that the only time in the last 20 million years that we find evidence for carbon dioxide levels similar to the modern level of 387 parts per million was 15 to 20 million years ago, when the planet was dramatically different.”
    Levels of carbon dioxide have varied only between 180 and 300 parts per million over the last 800,000 years — until recent decades, said Tripati, who is also a member of UCLA’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. It has been known that modern-day levels of carbon dioxide are unprecedented over the last 800,000 years, but the finding that modern levels have not been reached in the last 15 million years is new.
    Prior to the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the carbon dioxide level was about 280 parts per million, Tripati said. That figure had changed very little over the previous 1,000 years. But since the Industrial Revolution, the carbon dioxide level has been rising and is likely to soar unless action is taken to reverse the trend, Tripati said.
    “During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today,” Tripati said. “Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount.”
    Tripati’s new chemical technique has an average uncertainty rate of only 14 parts per million.
    “We can now have confidence in making statements about how carbon dioxide has varied throughout history,” Tripati said.
    In the last 20 million years, key features of the climate record include the sudden appearance of ice on Antarctica about 14 million years ago and a rise in sea level of approximately 75 to 120 feet.
    “We have shown that this dramatic rise in sea level is associated with an increase in carbon dioxide levels of about 100 parts per million, a huge change,” Tripati said. “This record is the first evidence that carbon dioxide may be linked with environmental changes, such as changes in the terrestrial ecosystem, distribution of ice, sea level and monsoon intensity.”
    Today, the Arctic Ocean is covered with frozen ice all year long, an ice cap that has been there for about 14 million years.
    “Prior to that, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic,” Tripati said.
    Some projections show carbon dioxide levels rising as high as 600 or even 900 parts per million in the next century if no action is taken to reduce carbon dioxide, Tripati said. Such levels may have been reached on Earth 50 million years ago or earlier, said Tripati, who is working to push her data back much farther than 20 million years and to study the last 20 million years in detail.
    More than 50 million years ago, there were no ice sheets on Earth, and there were expanded deserts in the subtropics, Tripati noted. The planet was radically different.
    Remember then is still a chance if that ice melts to fast up North the Gulf Stream could not slow but stop and Europe will get weather like Canada and of course still warm at the equator now that’s called funny weather.

  15. Don Hawkins said on December 5th, 2009 at 6:20am #

    The insanity we see with Israel and the Palestinians to me can be compared to Wall Street here in the States. Israel has bigger weapons and use those weapons on the Palestinians. Wall Street has weapons money and big time illusion and use it on the average person and look how well it’s working. Is there an answer well again not weapons not illusion but everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler could be one way. It appears these so called leaders are not going to give this a try so can we change there mind not unless we try. To simple well tuff day’s ahead and in the Mid East will the little water problem get better back to normal I think not. So far these so called leaders are taking the easy way out and that will be anything but easy. Somehow organize no more war we must try to slow the warming still time not much. I think we all know fighting these wars we now see is not going to play out to well.

  16. Shabnam said on December 5th, 2009 at 7:25am #

    Thos who had any doubts that Elbaradei is not a servant of Zionism like other Arab head of states should think twice. Elbaradei who is silent on Israel illegal nuclear weapon program and her 300 bombs and did not put any pressure to allow the UN agency to inspect the nuclear weapon industry of Israel but dares to go after legal Iranian nuclear enrichment program and sided with the zionist fascists to pass a resolution against Iran in the UN, has announced that is going TO RUN IN THE NEXT EGYPTIAN ELECTION. Mubarak is trying to sit his son after himself but he is facing a lot of opposition. Elbaradei, a PETTY SERVANT OF ZIONISM and a TRAITOR HELPED THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ BY REPEATING HIS RUBBISH that the inspectors cannot determine Iraq does not have nuclear program because we are not provided with all the information. This trick was used by this petty servant for Iran as well so he can have the zionist fascists on his side. ARE EGYPTIANS THAT FOOLISH TO TRUST SUCH A PETTY SERVANT WHO TAKES THE INTEREST OF ISRAEL FIRST AGAINST THE INTEREST OF EGYPTIAN AND THE REGION? down with zionist puppets.

    Bill Christiansen has recently written about illegal and injustice of the black zionsit slave policy, OBAMA WHO IS SPIT AT BY AFGHANI PEOPLE AND MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IIN THE REGION FOR VIOLATION OF EVERY INTERNATIONAL LAW TO SERVE HIS MASTER THE JEWISH LOBBY AND ISRAEL as follows:

    {It takes only two paragraphs to demonstrate the foolishness and utter injustice of President Obama’s present policy toward Iran. In this world of nation-states, Iran has at least as much right to possess nuclear weapons as the far smaller Israel. The very existence, for over 40 years now, of Israeli nuclear weapons is almost certainly the dominant reason why Iran, while alleging the contrary, continues to move toward acquiring its own nuclear deterrent. If the U.S. president really wants to stop Iran from going nuclear, he has plenty of means and power to pressure Israel to dismantle its own nukes. He is simply unwilling to do so.}

  17. Shabnam said on December 5th, 2009 at 7:45am #

    Former United Nations nuclear watchdog chief Mohammed ElBaradei said he would consider running for Egypt’s presidency but only if the election process were democratic, in a statement published on Friday.

    Former American and British leader’s, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, conviction that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was a threat blinded them to the lack of evidence justifying a war to depose him, an ex-U.N. weapons inspector said Saturday.

    They have reported:

    {HANS BLIX, who led the U.N. weapons inspection team in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, told the Daily Mail that the then U.S. and British leaders had “misled themselves and then they misled the public” about the reason for the conflict. }

    Blix and ElBaradei were TWO ZIONIST PUPPET who helped war criminals to invade Iraq and now Blix comes and tells us this rubbish but before the invasion these petty zionist puppets would not tell the international community that IRAQ HAS NO WEAPON PROGRAM. These bastards dare to come and tell us that the invasion was illegal.
    ElBaradei plays the same game with Iran and continue to do so to allow him to become a puppet President of another Arab country like the others, an impotent, to serve the enemy of humanity to buy a chair for himself and his family around the table with those who run the world, the corrupt Jewish aristocracy. These petty servants must be eliminated from each country at any cost. ElBaradei and people like him are nothing but 5th column whose job is to deliver the resources of that country to the corrupt Jewish aristocracy and their petty servants.

  18. B99 said on December 5th, 2009 at 8:03am #

    West Bank Water Usage

    • Of the water available from West Bank aquifers, Israel uses 73%, West Bank Palestinians use 17%, and illegal Jewish settlers use 10%.

    • While 10-14% of Palestine’s GDP is agricultural, 90% of them must rely on rain-fed farming methods. Israel’s agriculture is only 3% of their GDP, but Israel irrigates more than 50% of its land.

    • Three million West Bank Palestinians use only 250 million cubic meters per year (83 cubic meters per Palestinian per year) while six million Israelis enjoy the use of 1,954 million cubic meters (333 cubic meters per Israeli per year), which means that each Israeli consumes as much water as four Palestinians. Israeli settlers are allocated 1,450 cubic meters of water per person per year.

    • Israel consumes the vast majority of the water from the Jordan River despite only 3% of the river falling within its pre-1967 borders. Israel now diverts one quarter of its total water consumption through its National Water Carrier from the Jordan River, whereas Palestinians have no access to it whatsoever due to Israeli closures.

    International Law

    • Under international law it is illegal for Israel to expropriate the water of the Occupied Palestinian Territories for use by its own citizens, and doubly illegal to expropriate it for use by illegal Israeli settlers.

    • Also under international law, Israel owes Palestinians reparations for past and continuing use of water resources. This should include interest due to loss of earnings from farming.

    Israeli Actions

    • Israel does not allow new wells to be drilled by Palestinians and has confiscated many wells for Israeli use. Israel sets quotas on how much water can be drawn by Palestinians from existing wells.

    • When supplies of water are low in the summer months, the Israeli water company Mekorot closes the valves which supply Palestinian towns and villages so as not to affect Israeli supplies. This means that illegal Israeli settlers can have their swimming pools topped up and lawns watered while Palestinians living next to them, on whose land the settlements are situated, do not have enough water for drinking and cooking.

    Israeli settlers have no restrictions on water use

    • Israel often sells the water it steals from the West Bank back to the Palestinians at inflated prices.

    • During the war of 1967, 140 Palestinian wells in the Jordan Valley were destroyed to divert water through Israel’s National Water Carrier. Palestinians were allowed to dig only 13 wells between 1967 and 1996, less than the number of wells which dried up during the same period due to Israel’s refusal to deepen or rehabilitate existing wells.

    • The Gaza strip relies predominately on wells that are being increasingly infiltrated by salty sea water because Israel is over-pumping the groundwater. UN scientists estimate that Gaza will have no drinkable water within fifteen years.


    • In Madama village 50km north of Jerusalem settlers from Yizhar settlement have repeatedly vandalized the villager’s only source of water. They have poured concrete into it, vandalized the connecting pipes and even dropped disposable diapers and other hazardous waste into the springs. Three villagers have been attacked by settlers while trying to repair the water source.

    The main spring in the Palestinian village of Yanoun suffers damages and contamination inflicted by illegal Israeli settlers.

    • Constant settler attacks on the community of Yanoun, Nablus governorate, located next to the Itamar settlement, peaked in October 2002 when masked settlers charged into the village with dogs and caused significant damage to the water network, several roof tanks, and the local spring, which is considered to be the main source of water for the community. The main line supplying water to the community from the main spring, as well as the pump, reservoir, fittings and valves were all damaged by settlers. Residents of the community were forced to buy water from tankers from the neighboring community. Tanker access was very difficult due to Israeli closures and checkpoints as well as settler threats and terror which included shootings, beatings, and harassment.

  19. Don Hawkins said on December 5th, 2009 at 8:44am #

    Take a look at this read the whole thing if you like and at the bottom of the page is a chart of the near future precipitation does climategage have anything to do with this well no. Note where not much rain and where a tad bit to much. Hawaii, Iceland the South pole. Still time with total focus.

  20. Don Hawkins said on December 5th, 2009 at 8:53am #

    I forgot those charts are not written in stone. Depends on what?

  21. Janice said on December 5th, 2009 at 10:25am #

    Of all things, Amnesty International finds fault with ISRAEL?! Gee what a shocker! Amnesty International has been anti-Israel from day one and continues to be so. As for the problem with water, well when Israel planted trees (which, by the way the Arabs destroyed!) the huge number of trees planted had already changed the weather patterns in the area so that there was more rainfall. Arabs, of course, don’t build, they only destroy, so, naturally, they bombed the forests and depleated the rainfall and then bitched about it! Amnesty International is about as dependable as a fox in a henhouse. All you will get is more victimized hens and one fox who will blame everything on the hens being uncooperative!

  22. Mary said on December 5th, 2009 at 11:14am #

    Wrong, wrong and wrong and hardly worthy of a reply. ‘The Arabs bombed the forests and depleated (sic) the rainfall’ ???? What are you talking about?

    Peter Benenson was a British lawyer who converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism and the friend with whom he founded Amnesty was a member of the Quakers. No mention of Israel from ‘day one’ as you say and the trees that were planted were probably those planted by the JNF to cover over the remains of the Palestinian villages razed to the ground in Al-Naqba. As for the destruction of trees, try looking up a few references to the massive destruction of Palestinian olive groves by the terror state using Caterpillar bulldozers and by illegal settlers.

    You dug you own hole and fell right in. Hasbara must try harder.


  23. Shabnam said on December 5th, 2009 at 11:46am #

    Zionist liars like JANICE must take her misrepresentation of facts somewhere else because due to engagement of few individuals at this site with rabid zionists, has attracted large number of Zionists to this site and the debate has gone nowhere except an accumulation of large amount of propaganda materials where no one reads. These zionists have been provided with a free platform to take space from other people to divert attention from the main issue which is how to organize against international Zionism and their agents in each country starting with Green in Iran. Knowing that zionist media is acting globally against anti Zionists group or individuals and responsible for production of large number of brainwashed fools in the West as well as East, to build allies as 5th column in each country especially Muslim countries, like GREEN opposition in Iran where holds large number of pro zionist agents against Iranian as well as Palestinian people. The Iranian clowns who have joined the Green to benefit from it, like HAMID DABBASHI at Columbia University who supported Palestinian in the past which attracted Daniel Pipes gang to himself, now has forgotten Palestinian and openly is organizing events with CIA/ zionist agent individuals like HADI GHAEMI from the UNITED 4 IRAN, lounged by NED, then we need to expose these 5TH column zionist agents in each country, including the United States, and eliminate them from the political scene as soon as possible. Stop wasting your time by engaging in a useless debate with these rabid Zionists and their 5th column petty agents.
    We will expose all the Iranian Zionists like Shireen Ebadi, Shadi Sadr, Khalaji, Makhmalbaf, too many to bring here, and Zahrah Rahnavard, Mousavi’s wife, who has been selected by her masters as ‘thinker’ in the third position, laughable, along with war criminals like Dick Cheney, Clintons, and imposters such as Thomas Friedman, Bernard Henri Levi, Ayan Hershi Ali, Abulkarim Soroush who has received number of AWARDS to transfer thousands of dollar for his services to Kamp of Zionism, along with their other 3th world zionist puppets under “100 Top Global Thinkers” to make their these petty agents as household items to be known to every fools in the west and be an example for the fools in the East to emulate their services to the zionist mass murders. The first ‘thinker’, of course has been given to their son, a zionist Jew, Ben Bernanke, who is responsible for the broken economy to American and transfer of a trillion dollar from American retirement money to Jewish aristocracy who run the world and their accomplices.

  24. bozh said on December 5th, 2009 at 11:50am #

    I can see hebrews being taken in by their mad priests’ promises for them to posses one of the most wretched regions of the world, but can anyone explain how euro-asians have been taken in by their leaders to ‘settle’ in such a tiny and accursed region?

    Even most ‘jews’ avoid it like plague. In fact, even ancient canaanites were leaving it for greener pastures of sumer and akkad some 4800 yrs ago.
    And with global warming, most white ‘jews’ wld either fry there or run for novaya zemya, tnx

  25. B99 said on December 5th, 2009 at 1:39pm #

    Janice – There has been a gradual drying out of the eastern Mediterranean for several thousand years – aided and abetted by herding groups that long predate the arrival of the Arabs but fit neatly into the period the Hebrews showed up. The Hebrews were, you know, a goat herding people. Their lack of architectural and engineering skills required that they look to others for the construction of their “First Temple” – for this they turned to the Phoenicians, expert builders they were, these ancestors of the Palestinians.

    As for the tree planting programs of the Israelis – this was done basically to cover up the Palestinian villages they had violently emptied and razed in the ethnic cleansing mania of 1948. In this way, the National Park System of Israel was created.

    BTW, Amnesty International is known to have gone light on Israel in the past. I think it is safe to say that, truth be told, they are still going light on Israel now.

  26. deceschi said on December 5th, 2009 at 6:31pm #

    Apart from the fact that AI didn’t at all consult the Israeli Water Autority for its report (non really a prerequisite for objectivity), the latter grounds its central accusations against Israel on statistics from the Water Restriction Report 18 April 2009 of The World Bank. So we can read on page 10 of the report:

    According to the World Bank, “Palestinians have access to one fifth of the resources of the Mountain Aquifer. Palestinians abstract about 20% of the “estimated potential” of the aquifers that underlie both the West Bank and Israel. Israel abstracts the balance, and in addition overdraws without JWC [Joint Water Committee] approval on the “estimated potential” by more than 50%, up to 1.8 times its share under Oslo. Over-extraction by deep wells combined with reduced recharge has created risks for the aquifers and a decline in water available to Palestinians through shallower wells. ”25

    The note 25 refers indeed to the “Water Restriction Report 18 April 2009” pubblished by The World Bank. This WB report can be consulted without problems on internet and downloaded. Now, it’s quite interesting to read the key message in the World Bank report. In the chapter 1 p. 9 is written (I quote):

  27. deceschi said on December 5th, 2009 at 6:40pm #

    Sorry folks, the rest of my contribution was accidentally deleted. Never mind: I don’t have really to prove the biased position of AI. It speaks for itself.

  28. Don Hawkins said on December 5th, 2009 at 6:48pm #

    deceschi are you all right. Al didn’t invent the Internet I did, just kidding.

  29. B99 said on December 6th, 2009 at 9:51am #

    Sorry Dizzy – you lose big time. Like I said, you want TWO Israeli views – consult the work of Meron Benvenisti or B’tselem. And not the Israeli Water Authority – which work is filtered through the Israeli Ministry of Propaganda. Imagine trying to get honest info from an Occupying Authority in an illegally occupied country.

    But thanks for the World Bank confirmation that Palestinians can access only 20% of THEIR OWN WATER. More on water below.

    Water and the Wall

    • Many of the most important underground wellsprings in the West Bank are located just to the east of the Green Line dividing Israel from Palestine. Israel has built the Wall not only to annex land but also to annex many of these wells in order to divert water to Israel and illegal West Bank settlements.

    This water reservoir, located in the village of Attil, Tulkarem district, is isolated by the Wall from the community it serves. It is in the area between the Wall and the Green Line, which Israel is attempting to annex in violation of the Road Map and of international law.

    • The Wall is not only an Apartheid Wall, but also a water wall. Some of the largest Israeli settlements (such as Ariel and Qedumin) are built over the Western mountain aquifer, directly in the middle of the northern West Bank agricultural districts, and this is exactly where the wall cuts deepest into Palestinian territory to surround and annex this vital water source.

    • The building of the Wall has caused the village of Falamya in Qalqiliya district to lose its main source of water. In Jayyous, a village near Falamya, all of its seven water wells have been annexed or destroyed by the Apartheid Wall.

    • In the West Bank, around 50 groundwater wells and over 200 cisterns have been destroyed or isolated from their owners by the Wall. This water was used for domestic and agricultural needs by over 122,000 people. To build the Wall, 25 wells and cisterns and 35,000 meters of water pipes have also been destroyed [5].

    • In 2003, the losses incurred by Palestinian farmers due to the Wall diverting water resources has been 2,200 tons of olive oil, 50,000 tons of fruit, and 100,000 tons of vegetables [6].

    • The Wall is obstructing many water run-off flows in the Qalqiliya region that normally divert water to prevent flooding. During heavy rains in February 2005, Israeli soldiers refused to open drainage pipes in Qalqiliya, which led to heavy flood damage to crops and homes there. The Wall also caused severe flooding in Zububa and other villages.

    Under the conditions brought about by the siege imposed by Israeli occupation forces, civilians in the occupied territories are suffering from lack of access to necessary resources for the maintenance of their daily needs and basic health. We have reached a state of emergency in the water sector in the Occupied Territories. We must call for an immediate end to the siege upon the water sector.

    Water issues under the Oslo Accords

    The interim agreement that Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed in September 1995 (Oslo 2) includes the most updated understanding on water that has been reached in the peace process framework. It is also more detailed than previous documents. The subject appears in article 40 of the Protocol on Civil Affairs (Annex 3). Israeli officials relate to it as a turning point at which responsibility for the water sector is transferred to the Palestinian Authority. However, this agreement did not significantly change the scope of Israeli control.

    The point of departure for the understanding on division of water from the shared sources is that the quantity of water that Israel consumes, both within the Green Line and in the settlements, will not be reduced. According to this principle, any additional water for the Palestinians would be produced from previously unutilized sources, and not by re-distribution of existing sources. This means that almost every addition of water to the Palestinians under this agreement must come from the Eastern Aquifer of the West Bank, which, according to the agreement itself, is the only source that had not been fully utilized prior to signing of the agreement.

    In the Oslo Accords, Israel recognized that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank comprise one territorial unit. However, the Interim Agreement stipulates that, regarding water resources, the Gaza Strip will constitute a separate water sector. Other than the small quantity that Israel undertook to sell, residents of the Gaza Strip will have to meet their needs solely from resources located within its borders, i.e., they are not allowed to obtain water from the West Bank. The failure of the Interim Agreement to re-distribute the water resources shared by the West Bank and Israel prevented any “surplus” of water in the West Bank that could increase the supply of water to the Gaza Strip. As a result, the severance of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank continued, further damaging the Gaza Aquifer because of the necessity to continue the over-extraction.

    Pursuant to the Interim Agreement, the parties established the Joint Water Committee (JWC), the body charged with approving every new water and sewage project in the West Bank. The JWC is comprised of an equal number of representatives of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. All its decisions are made by consensus, and no mechanism is established to settle disputes where a consensus cannot be attained. This method of decision-making means that Israel is able to veto any request by the Palestinian representatives to drill a new well to obtain the additions stipulated in the agreement.

    Israel’s control of extraction of water from the shared aquifers is not limited to its veto power in the JWC over new drillings. If a well approved by the JWC is situated in Area C, which is under Israel’s complete control, the High Planning Committee of the Civil Administration must also approve the project.

    The shared water sources and the control over them

    Israel and the Palestinians share two main water sources. The first is the Mountain Aquifer, a system extending over approximately 130 Km, from Mount Carmel in the north to Beersheva in the south. The aquifer is some 35 Km wide – from the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley on the east, to the eastern border of the coastal strip on the west. The aquifer is fed by rain that falls mostly on the mountains of the West Bank and seeps into it. The water then flows eastward and westward to the reservoir areas, from where it is drawn by wells. This source supplies about one-quarter of the water needs of Israel and the Israeli settlements and almost all the running water that Palestinians in the West Bank receive.

    The second joint source of water, according to international law, is the upper Jordan River and its tributaries: the Sea of Galilee, the Yarmuh, and the lower Jordan River . Although only the Jordan River is shared geographically, the water Israel draws from the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River sources directly affects the amount of water in the river itself. This source supplies approximately one-third of Israel ‘s water needs, and also serves Jordan , Syria , and Lebanon . Palestinians do not receive any water from this source.

    Demand for water by Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has been increasing since the 1920s. The main reason for the increase is, in addition to natural population growth, the increased number of homes connected to a central water network. The demand for water in the Occupied Territories increased at a greater rate since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967 because of the relative increase in the Palestinian standard of living following integration of the economies of the Occupied Territories and Israel .

    However, Israel ‘s tight control of the water sector in the Occupied Territories prevented development that would enable the water sector to meet Palestinians’ increasing demand for water. Israel instituted restrictions and prohibitions that had not existed under Jordanian and Egyptian control. These restrictions and prohibitions are a principal reason for the water shortage and the resultant water crisis.

    Israel ‘s water policy in the Occupied Territories has benefited Israel in two primary ways:
    1. Preservation of the unequal division of the shared groundwater in the West Bank ‘s Western Aquifer and Northern Aquifer. This division was created prior to the occupation, a result of the gap between economic and technological development in Israel as opposed to the West Bank . However, the gap would have likely diminished had Israel not prevented it.
    3. Utilization of new water sources, to which Israel had no access prior to 1967, such as the Eastern Aquifer (in the West Bank ) and the Gaza Aquifer, primarily to benefit Israeli settlements established in those areas.
    For residents of the Occupied Territories, the primary result of the change in the law and transfer of powers over the water sector to Israeli bodies was the drastic restriction on drilling new wells to meet their water needs. According to military orders, drilling a well required obtaining a permit, which entailed a lengthy and complicated bureaucratic process. The vast majority of applications submitted during the occupation were denied. The few that were granted were solely for domestic use, and were less than the number of wells that, after 1967, had ceased to be used due to improper maintenance or because they had dried up.

    It should be emphasized that the legal and institutional changes that Israel instituted in the water sector in the Occupied Territories are not intrinsically unacceptable. They conformed to the approach taken in Israel ‘s water sector and could, in principle, have led to a more efficient supply of water to the Palestinians. However, Israel utilized these changes to exclusively promote Israeli interests, almost completely ignoring the needs of the Palestinian population, which was left to face a growing water shortage.

    The water crisis in the Occupied Territories resulted not only from the restrictions Israel placed on Palestinian residents, but also from Israel ‘s relatively minimal investment in water infrastructure. The neglect in infrastructure was conspicuous in two areas: in construction of infrastructure to connect rural communities to a running-water network, and in maintenance (to prevent loss of water) of the existing networks. When the Interim Agreement was signed, 20 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank were not connected to a running-water network. In mid-2006, about 10 percent of the population n the West Bank was not connected to a running-water system. Despite the sharp decline, because of the increase in population, the number of persons who are not connected to a running-water system has remained about the same, 215,000 compared to some 200,000 in 2000. The water-pipe leaks resulting from improper maintenance led in some instances to a loss of more than 50 percent of the quantity of water supplied. This was true, for example, in Qalqiliya and Tulkarm.

    Villages not connected to a water network

    The water shortage is especially hard on residents of Palestinian villages that are not connected to a water network. As of June 2006, some 215,000 Palestinians in 220 villages lived in communities without a running-water network. In the winter and fall, these residents collect rainfall in cisterns next to their homes and use the water for all their needs. In the spring and summer months, when the water in the cistern was been depleted, the residents rely on water from nearby springs and on water brought to them by owners of private water-tankers.

    There are also hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in communities with a central running-water network that supplies water irregularly in limited amounts and does not reach everyone in the community. For this reason, some Palestinian authorities supply water in the summer months on a rotation basis: each neighborhood receives water once every few days, for one day or several hours at a time. To supplement the water supplied, these residents have to buy water brought to them in privately owned water-tankers.

    Per capita water consumption for household and municipal use in communities connected to a central running-water network in the West Bank is sixty liters a day. In Israel , per capita daily use is 280 liters, more than 4.5 times greater.

    While the cost of water supplied by a central running-water network ranges from three to five shekels per cubic meter, the water-tanker owners charge from fifteen to thirty shekels per cubic meter, depending on the supplier and the location of the community. With forty-six percent of the residents living under the poverty line and more than twenty-seven percent of them unemployed, water purchases are a heavy financial burden for a substantial segment of the local population. According to research of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, there are many cases in which water purchases amount to ten percent of the family’s expenses. This summer, many families will have especially great difficulty in meeting this burden, in part because of Israel ‘s decision, following the ascension of Hamas to power, not to transfer to the Palestinian Authority the tax monies that Israel collected for it.

    In light of the situation, many families will have to further reduce their water consumption, thus making it harder for them to meet their basic needs such as personal hygiene, housecleaning, dishwashing, and clothes washing. Research studies have shown that a shortage of water causes a decline in personal hygiene. This can lead to incidents of disease such as skin disorders, for example.

    The principal reason for the water shortage in the West Bank is the unfair distribution of the water resources shared by Israel and the Palestinians. One of these resources is the Mountain Aquifer which is composed of a few reservoirs of groundwater that lie on both sides of the Green Line. Although this aquifer is the sole water source for residents of the West Bank, Israel uses eighty percent of it, leaving only the remaining twenty percent for the Palestinians. Israel refuses to alter this distribution or to allow the Palestinians access to alternate water sources such as the Jordan River basin, thus preventing the Palestinian Authority from either connecting additional communities to a running-water network, or from increasing the water supply in locations where a running-water network exists.

    Another cause of the water shortage is the poor infrastructure that Israel handed over to the Palestinian Authority in 1995 in the framework of the Oslo Agreements. Since then, the Palestinian Authority has improved the infrastructure, but it still does not meet minimal standards. Forty percent of the water carried through the pipes is lost by leakage.

    In addition, Mekorot, the Israeli water company, which supplies more than one-half of household and urban water consumption in the West Bank (the rest is supplied by Palestinian bodies), reduces the quantity of water sold to Palestinians in the summer months by fifteen to twenty-five percent to meet consumption needs in Israel and in the settlements.

    Israel’s policy regarding water supply in the West Bank is illegal and discriminates on racial grounds. It flagrantly breaches international law which requires Israel to ensure proper living conditions for the local population and to respect the Palestinians’ human rights, including the right to receive a sufficient quantity of water to meet their basic needs.

    International law on water
    In examining international law, it is necessary to distinguish between Israel’s obligations as an occupying state to the population under its control on one hand, and the use of water sources shared by Israel and the Palestinians, which are considered international waters, on the other.

    A. Administration of the water sector in occupied territory
    1. Prohibition on altering legislation
    Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations prohibits an occupying state from changing the legislation in effect prior to occupation. The military orders that Israel issued regarding the water resources and the supply of water in the Occupied Territories significantly changed the legal and institutional structure of the water sector. The water resources in the Occupied Territories were integrated into the legal and bureaucratic system of Israel, severely limiting the ability of Palestinians to develop those resources.

    2. Illegal utilization of water resources
    Article 55 of the Hague Regulations limits the right of occupying states to utilize the water sources of occupied territory. The use is limited to military needs and may not exceed past use. Use of groundwater of the Occupied Territories in the settlements does not meet these criteria and therefore breaches article 55.

    3. Discrimination between Palestinians and Israeli Settlers
    Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits an occupying state from discriminating between residents of occupied territory. The quantity of water supplied to the settlements is vastly larger than that which is supplied to the Palestinians. Similarly, the regularity of supply is much greater in the settlements. This discrimination is especially blatant during the summer months when the supply to Palestinians in some areas of the West Bank is reduced in order to meet the increased demand for water in the settlements receiving their water from the same pipelines.

    B. Utilization of shared international water sources
    Under international law, the main principle for division of shared water between states is the principle of equitable and reasonable use. This principle is based on the limited-sovereignty doctrine, which provides that, because all parts of the drainage basins of watercourses are hydrologically interdependent, states are not allowed to utilize water located in their territory as they wish, but must take into account the other states that share the resource.

    This principle does not state a precise formula quantifying the rights of each state sharing an international watercourse. Rather, it lists the factors to be considered in negotiations between the states to determine the division. Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses enumerates seven of these factors:
    1. The natural features of the shared watercourse (geographic, climatic, hydrologic, and the like);
    2. The social and economic needs of the watercourse states;
    3. The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse state;
    4. The effects of the use of the watercourses in one watercourse state on other watercourse states;
    5. Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;
    6. Conservation, protection, and development of the water resources of the watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;
    7. The availability of alternatives to a particular planned or existing use.
    Taking into account the components of the principle of equitable and reasonable use, examination of the current division of water between Israel and the Palestinians leads to the conclusion that this division violates Palestinian rights and contravenes international water law.

    The gap in water consumption between Palestinians and Israelis

    The discrimination in utilization of the resources shared by Israel and the Palestinian Authority is clearly seen in the figures on water consumption by the two populations. Per capita water consumption in the West Bank for domestic, urban, and industrial use is only 22 cubic meters a year, which translates into 60 liters per person per day.

    There is a huge gap between Israeli and Palestinian consumption. The average Israeli consumes for domestic and urban use approximately 104 cubic meters a year, or 280 liters per person per day. In other words, per capita use in Israel is four and a half times higher than in the Occupied Territories . To make a more precise comparison, by also taking into account industrial water consumption in Israel, per capita use per year reaches 120 cubic meters – 330 liters per person a day – or five and a half times Palestinian per capita consumption.

    The World Health Organization and the United States Agency for International Development recommend 100 liters of water per person per day as the minimum quantity for basic consumption. This amount includes, in addition to domestic use, consumption in hospitals, schools, businesses, and other public institutions. Palestinian daily consumption is 40 percent less than the recommended quantity.

    Digest THAT!

  30. David said on December 6th, 2009 at 10:56am #

    Hi B99

    Thanks so much for your invaluable contribution to this discussion!!
    I have included it my already huge file on Israel’s despicable, criminal beyond words and racist in the extreme theft and waste of (e.g., swimming pools) of Palestinian owned water resources.

  31. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 6th, 2009 at 10:58am #

    Decrepit, of course AI is biased against Israel. AI is dedicated to protecting the human rights of all people, whereas Israel is a racist state driven by a quasi-religious ideology of absolute racial and cultural supremacism, to all non-Jewish existence, but particularly to the ‘two-legged animals’ that the Herrenvolk have been murdering, dispossessing and tormenting for generations. If AI was not biased against Israel, ie against racist evil, and truly depraved and cynical hypocrisy with its assertion, and that of its lickspittles like you, of absolute moral purity, no matter how plain the evidence from however many sources, then AI would be a total sham. And, as b99 points out and you, typically, ignore, the sources for our knowledge of Israeli racist perfidy, are legion. But then again, for Zionazis the whole world is comprised of ‘eternal anti-Semites’-is that not so?

  32. B99 said on December 6th, 2009 at 11:01am #

    David – Happy to be of assistance – it’s been a focus of mine for many years.

  33. B99 said on December 6th, 2009 at 11:15am #

    Mulga – Actually, the mark against AI is that they have been historically light on Israel. So it’s about time AI finally came across with the goods.

  34. Shabnam said on December 6th, 2009 at 11:20am #


    Israeli strategies aimed to negate the very presence of the Palestinian people. Major Israeli designs intended to coerce the Palestinians to vacate the land. Practices, such as land confiscation, house demolition and even killings, enabled Israel tighter control over Palestinian land including water its most valuable resource.

    Immediately after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, Israeli military authorities issued several Military Orders (MO) to ensure tight control over water resources. On 17 June 1967, Military Order 92 was issued. It covered the following:

    a-All water resources in Gaza and the West Bank are considered government property;
    b-All permits for artesian wells are cancelled;
    c-All information or data regarding water resources is strictly classified7.
    On 15 August 1967, another Military Order was issued placing all authority over water matters, exclusively, in the hands of a military officer. Military Order 1015 issued on 27 July 1982 and was amended by Military Order 1039 on 5 December 1982 determined the nature and quantity of crops Palestinians may plant, especially, in irrigated parts. It also demanded that Palestinian farmers reduce their crops to lessen water consumption8 . Similarly, in the Gaza Strip, two Military Orders were issued declaring water resources governmental and ordering Palestinians to seek permission from the military governor for any project involving water.

    These Military Orders enabled Israeli occupation authorities absolute control over Palestinian water resources. These authorities have often refused to grant any permission to dig artesian wells or to build any water networks. Dr. Paul Korch wrote in Middle Right: “Since the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel the military authorities did not grant a permit to a single village to dig any wells. Between 1967 and 1983 only seven wells were allowed and those were for domestic consumption”. Additionally, Israeli authorities prohibit restoration of old wells. Owners of wells that existed prior to June 1967 were forced to place meters to determine exact amounts of water drawn from their wells.

    The Palestinian Planing Center reported that Israeli Water Commission exercised direct and tight control over Palestinian water resources since 1967. Two Israeli companies, Tahal was responsible for regulating water policies while Mekorot, was entrusted with digging artesian wells and sales of water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

    Comparison between Israeli and Palestinian Water shares

    Most studies on water shares have shown that a Palestinian individual consumes on average, for all purposes, 30 liters of water per day. While an Israeli settler uses, for domestic purposes only, 350 liters/day, i.e. ten times the amount used by a Palestinian individual. This number does not include water consumption for industrial or irrigation purposes.

    In a comparative study prepared by Fahmi Shahin, a researcher with LAWE, the Palestinian Society for Human Right and the Environment, have shown that an Israeli settler in the settlements of Qiryat Arba’a or Kharsina, uses ten times as much as any Palestinian living in the nearby city of Hebron. Table (3)9shows the big difference in consumption in the two adjacent urban areas. The reason for such difference is that the amount of water destined for the city of Hebron is pre-determined by the Israeli authorities. Daily needs for water in the city of Hebron exceeds the amount reaches every household. Table (3) also shows the reduction in water supplied to the Palestinians between 1997 and 1998. Additionally, Israeli settlers often vandalize the water networks in the Hebron District, which causes frequent disruption in water supplies. Often, Israeli settler’s cut-off water supply to the city of Hebron for prolonged periods; they physically wreck the water mains in the area; they divert large amounts of water, destined to Hebron, for irrigation of settlers’ farms in the area.

    In violation of its agreement with the city of Hebron, Mekorot, the Israeli company responsible for providing Hebron with water often reduces the amount of water it pumps to the city without notice. According to the agreement, Mekorot is supposed to pump 25,000 cubic meters daily to the city. Instead, it only pumps 5500 cubic meters daily. This amount is often reduced especially in the summer.

    The District of Bethlehem, only 35% of its population of 150,000 Palestinians, received water through the local network in the first half of 1999. Water supplies, earmarked for the District, were reduced by 30% in 1999. The District of Bethlehem receives 300 cubic meters/hour while the actual need surpasses 1500 cubic meters/hour. A recent study by Palestinian NGOs have determined that in 1989 the 100,000 Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have consumed 60 million cubic meters while a million and a half Palestinians consumed only 137 million cubic meters of water in the period.10

    Repercussions of Israeli Polices on Palestinians

    The on-going massive reduction in water supplied to the occupied territories and the escalating prices of water, Palestinian crops could no longer compete with Israeli agricultural goods. Irrigated areas in the occupied territories dropped from 37% to 3.7%. The occupation authorities imposed harsh conditions on Palestinian agriculture. They even determined what type of crops to be planted and the amount of water to be used for irrigation. Many Palestinian farmers abandoned their farms, which were later confiscated by the Israeli authorities using Military Orders especially made-up for this purpose. Many of those farmers went to work, as cheap laborers, in Israeli factories. Others, looking for a decent living, immigrated elsewhere. Yet many farmers and landowners, which could not cope with heavy losses, joined the long lines of the unemployed, adding to the already devastating social and psychological problems in the Palestinian society.

    Furthermore, Palestinian factories in the occupied territories, suffer great losses because of reductions in water supplies. Many factories, in the food, stone-cutting or construction industries were forced to close down. Many of its workers became unemployed. Hospitals, because of water shortages, suffered unending problems with hygiene and several units for kidney dialysis were shut down.

    Water shortages in the Occupied Palestinian Territories have added more to the sufferings inflicted on the Palestinians that it affected all aspects of life. In most areas, a Palestinian could not get the chance to bathe even once a week. Dirty dishes are often stacked for days waiting for water. Over 300 Palestinian communities lack water networks. Other communities are prohibited by the Israeli authorities to effect any repairs in their decaying old networks.

    The fast expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have added more to the existing water shortages, especially, in surface water which feed the aquifers. Sewage and wastewater from Israeli settlements is absorbed, untreated, by the soil, which affects the quality of fresh water reserves in the aquifers.

    Israeli excessive consumption of enormous amounts of water from aquifers underneath the Palestinian Territories in addition to its blocking of surface-water running north-south, have caused immense damage to the aquifers. Seawater has begun to seep underneath the Gazan soil and have raised salinity in the Gaza aquifers to unacceptable levels. Dozens of people have reported liver and kidney ailments because of high salinity levels. A Dutch study reported that Gaza would have a serious problem with drinking water in the year 2000. Salinity levels reached 4500-5000 mg/liter in several artesian wells11. Internationally acceptable levels do not exceed 50 mg/liter.

  35. deceschi said on December 6th, 2009 at 1:36pm #

    The authors of the AI report chose to ignore Israeli data, papers and reports, although they contain verifiable facts presented with total transparency. This questionable approach, which consists in systematically disregarding Israeli material while relying exclusively on Palestinian allegations, raises doubts as to the real intentions of the report’s authors and of the organization itself. The AI report, and to a good extent even the World Bank report, can not be considered serious work which aims to present the water issue in ME in a proper and objective manner. These organizations, ergo also their various reports, are pretty biased and one-sided.
    Folks, it is a question of scientific objectivity: you all know well that to get a picture of a subject as clear and comprehensive as possible, especially regarding controversial issues, one must consult different sources, not just one version of events and facts. You learn this in the first year of university, if you have an academic curriculum behind; if you have not, you can lern it now.
    So, if you are interested in the position of the counterpart – that is the Israel Water Autority – here you can find a detailed report. It’s worth to be read – in the name of objectivity and truth.

  36. Shabnam said on December 6th, 2009 at 2:02pm #

    The non Semite Khazari Zionists who have NO connection with the indigenous Hebrews in the region have lived side by side with Palestinians and Muslims in peace for centuries, have engineered a phony history based on lies for the European colonist to sell as ‘Jews are coming back’ which is a big LIE. Therefore, nothing from these colonists and war criminals are based on fact but have been created to support their project of wiping the indigenous population off their land to establish ‘greater Israel’ where all people of the region are determine to stop. No one trusts a word from these liars.

  37. deceschi said on December 6th, 2009 at 3:04pm #

    And I should believe you? A person who can’t even spell my name right and makes demonization of Israel his occupation? Give me a break.

  38. bozh said on December 6th, 2009 at 3:47pm #

    Believe me, i do not envy khazaro-europeans who live in one the most wretched regions in the world. A land with little water; with no minerals, forests; so tiny even ‘jews’ lament its smallness.
    It is also surrounded with etern enemies. At least 8mn white ‘jews’ avoid living there.

    Even canaanites ca 4800yrs ago were leaving it for greener pastures; settling among sumerians, akkadians, and assyrians. And the division by race, culture, cultishness, and linguistic differences alone wld make livving there a hell for many ‘jews’.

  39. B99 said on December 6th, 2009 at 4:39pm #

    Dizzy – You could believe your own eyes if you’d get off your Euro-butt and travel to the WB* – unless you are scared to do so. Barring that, read B’tselem. Good Jews working hard for justice.

    * you know I’m right.

  40. deceschi said on December 7th, 2009 at 5:40am #

    B99 (let’s be adults) – did you notice that your last defamatory and vulgar comment on Israel has been deleted by DV? Even DV recognizes that your position about Israel is too fanatic, hateful and is not useful at all to achieve peace. Maybe a reason to make a examination of conscience, don’t you think?

    As for B’etselem, they are mainly Israeli Jews largely from the Meretz and Labor parties who criticise also the Palestinians terrorist methods, not only the Israeli policies in the WB and Gaza. They could and should be for you a example for more balanced criticism.

    But apart from this, B’tselem itself isn’t above suspicion. NGOMonitor characterizes the NGO as follows:

    B’TSELEM – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by “a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members” largely from the Meretz and Labor Parties.
    Key staff: Jessica Montell, Executive Director; Najib Abu Rokaya, Fieldwork Director; Sarit Michaeli, Communications Director; Risa Zoll, International Relations Director
    States that it “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.” B’Tselem does not report on human rights violations within Israel.
    B’Tselem’s reports are repeated by international NGO superpowers such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch as well as Palestinian NGOs. B´Tselem also presses its political agenda actively in the Israeli courts and the Knesset.
    Analysts have shown that B’Tselem’s methodology is problematic, often inconsistent, and reflects the organization’s political agenda. The organization identifies casualties according to their supposed activity at the moment of death, and therefore those “killed while not engaged in hostilities” – including terrorists, terror leaders and organizers, and rioters – are occasionally mislabeled “civilians.” Relies on statistics and reports of other NGOs, despite the political agendas and credibility problems of these other groups.
    B’Tselem categorizes suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians as “war crimes” and “a grave breach of the right to life”, according to international humanitarian law. Yet its political agenda is evident in the minimal attention it gives to intra-Palestinian human rights abuses (including torture, extra-judicial executions and abductions).
    Regularly minimizes Israeli security concerns, and ignores the fact that checkpoints, for example, have been instrumental in preventing attacks against civilians within Israel.
    The 2006 budget was approximately 7 million shekels ($2 million at 2008 rates). Main funders include the EU and numerous European governments, Christian Aid (UK), DanChurchAid, Diakonia (Sweden) and other church groups, the Ford Foundation, and the New Israel Fund (Israel).

  41. David said on December 7th, 2009 at 1:40pm #


    Tsk, tsk. You forgot to accuse B’Tselem of being comprised of “self-hating Jews.”

    Give it up pal!! Your arguments and assertions have been utterly squashed.

  42. deceschi said on December 7th, 2009 at 7:03pm #

    “Your arguments and assertions have been utterly squashed.”

    David, David, didn’t you know that leftist anti-Zionist bigots are used to “utterly squash” everything that questions their narrow-minded ideology? Do you belong to this species too?

    Anyway, in your defence, we also know that children love to cry wolf to be heard.

    As for the AI-report “Troubled water”: it is biased and based on lies. A couple of examples of AI falsehoods regarding the water issue for you people of genius:

    1) In “The day the bulldozers came…”: (
    AI states:
    “The village of Beit Ula, where Mahmoud lives, is not connected to the Palestinian water network. Instead the community, located north-west of Hebron, relies on rainwater, which it collects and stores in pots dug in the ground, known as cisterns….”

    Well, AI doesn’t seem to be well informed or lies deliberately: The applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, a Palestinian organization, has a 17-page town profile of Beit Ula, which states on page 13:
    “• Water Services: Beit Ula has been connected to the water network since 1974. Provided by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), almost 70% of town households
    are connected to the network. Harvesting wells and 10 natural springs are alternative resources to the water network for the domestic and agricultural needs of the town. ” ( and click Beit Ula – pdf)

    2) The AI report claimes on page 10 that “Palestinians have access to an average of no more than 60-70 liters per capita per day, and some survive on much less even than this, as little as 10-20 liters per person per day.” This statement has no source or footnote. Regrettably AI didn’t notice or probably ignored willingly a March 22, 2009 press release from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics marking World Water Day, which completely contradicts AI’s claim about per capita daily water use, stating:

    “Data [from the Water Statistics Report 2007] shows that the quantity of water supplied for domestic use in the Palestinian Territory was 175.6 MCM in 2007, and that the daily allocation per capital of the supplied water for domestic use in the Palestinian Territory was 135.8 (liter/capita/day).” (

    That is double the AI figure! Baby, don’t cry ….

    3) In another disparity between Amnesty and official
    Palestinian figures, Amnesty claims (page 10):

    “The total amount of water available to Palestinians from these various supplies [Jordan River, various aquifers, and water purchased from Israel] in recent years has been a maximum of some 170-180 MCM/Y, which reportedly fell to a mere 135 MCM in 2008, for a population of 2.3 million.”

    In contrast, the above mentioned Water Day PCBS press release states:
    According to the Water Statistics Report 2007 the annual available water quantity in the Palestinian Territory was 335.4 MCM in 2007.

    4) On page 12 of the new AI-report we can read:

    “Under the new Israeli military regime imposed in the OPT, Palestinians could no longer drill new wells or rehabilitate or even just repair existing ones, or carry out other any water-related projects (from pipes, networks, and reservoirs to wells and springs and even rainwater cisterns), without first obtaining a permit from the Israeli army. In theory such permits for drilling or rehabilitating wells could be obtained after a lengthy and complicated bureaucratic process; in practice, most applications for such permits were rejected.

    Well, AI seems again to ignore facts, as the significant development in infrastructure since 1995. The World Bank states:

    “The water and wastewater sector has come a long way since 1995:
    – A capable national institution, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), has been built;
    – The foundations for policy and operational coordination with Israel have been established;
    – Several existing municipal distribution networks have been rehabilitated, new networks
    developed, and supplies improved; and several new wells have been drilled and many
    – Backbone primary network of bulk-water carriers are under construction in the West Bank
    and ready to be launched in Gaza;
    – In Gaza not only have municipal networks and systems have been significantly upgraded,
    under an internationally recruited management contractor, effective managerial and
    operational systems have been established;
    – A new water law rationalizing the sector has been passed …”

    Again Ai claims on page 12:

    “Only 13 permits were granted in the 29 years from 1967 to 1996 (when the PWA was established), but all of these were for projects for domestic use only and they were not sufficient to make up even for the replacement of wells that had dried up or fallen into disrepair since 1967. . . .

    The regime put in place by the Israeli army not only prevented the development of new Palestinian wells and infrastructure, but also limited the use and upkeep of existing ones. It prevented the rehabilitation of old wells. . .”

    False: There were no severe restrictions on drilling new wells, and nearly 50 new well were drilled for the Palestinian population. Besides, during this period Israel drilled or permitted the drilling of over 50 new wells for the Palestinian population, laid hundreds of kilometers of new water mains and connected hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns to the newly built water system.

    To conclude something about Palestinian children in the WB and how they brave hot sommers:

  43. deceschi said on December 7th, 2009 at 7:13pm #

    “Your arguments and assertions have been utterly squashed.”

    David, David, didn’t you know that leftist anti-Zionist bigots are used to “utterly squash” everything that questions their narrow-minded ideology? Do you belong to this species too?

    Anyway, in your defence, we also know that children love to cry wolf to be heard.

    As for the AI-report “Troubled water”: it is biased and based on lies. A couple of examples of AI falsehoods regarding the water issue for you people of genius:

    1) In “The day the bulldozers came…”: (
    AI states:
    “The village of Beit Ula, where Mahmoud lives, is not connected to the Palestinian water network. Instead the community, located north-west of Hebron, relies on rainwater, which it collects and stores in pots dug in the ground, known as cisterns….”

    Well, AI doesn’t seem to be well informed or lies deliberately: The applied Research Institute-Jerusalem, a Palestinian organization, has a 17-page town profile of Beit Ula, which states on page 13:
    “• Water Services: Beit Ula has been connected to the water network since 1974. Provided by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), almost 70% of town households
    are connected to the network. Harvesting wells and 10 natural springs are alternative resources to the water network for the domestic and agricultural needs of the town. ” ( under “profile” and click Beit Ula – pdf)

    2) The AI report claimes on page 10 that “Palestinians have access to an average of no more than 60-70 liters per capita per day, and some survive on much less even than this, as little as 10-20 liters per person per day.” This statement has no source or footnote. Regrettably AI didn’t notice or probably ignored willingly a March 22, 2009 press release from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics marking World Water Day, which completely contradicts AI’s claim about per capita daily water use, stating:

    “Data [from the Water Statistics Report 2007] shows that the quantity of water supplied for domestic use in the Palestinian Territory was 175.6 MCM in 2007, and that the daily allocation per capital of the supplied water for domestic use in the Palestinian Territory was 135.8 (liter/capita/day).” (

    That is double the AI figure! Baby, don’t cry ….

    3) In another disparity between Amnesty and official
    Palestinian figures, Amnesty claims (page 10):

    “The total amount of water available to Palestinians from these various supplies [Jordan River, various aquifers, and water purchased from Israel] in recent years has been a maximum of some 170-180 MCM/Y, which reportedly fell to a mere 135 MCM in 2008, for a population of 2.3 million.”

    In contrast, the above mentioned Water Day PCBS press release states:
    According to the Water Statistics Report 2007 the annual available water quantity in the Palestinian Territory was 335.4 MCM in 2007.

    4) On page 12 of the new AI-report we can read:

    “Under the new Israeli military regime imposed in the OPT, Palestinians could no longer drill new wells or rehabilitate or even just repair existing ones, or carry out other any water-related projects (from pipes, networks, and reservoirs to wells and springs and even rainwater cisterns), without first obtaining a permit from the Israeli army. In theory such permits for drilling or rehabilitating wells could be obtained after a lengthy and complicated bureaucratic process; in practice, most applications for such permits were rejected.

    Well, AI seems again to ignore facts, as the significant development in infrastructure since 1995. The World Bank states:

    “The water and wastewater sector has come a long way since 1995:
    – A capable national institution, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), has been built;
    – The foundations for policy and operational coordination with Israel have been established;
    – Several existing municipal distribution networks have been rehabilitated, new networks
    developed, and supplies improved; and several new wells have been drilled and many
    – Backbone primary network of bulk-water carriers are under construction in the West Bank
    and ready to be launched in Gaza;
    – In Gaza not only have municipal networks and systems have been significantly upgraded,
    under an internationally recruited management contractor, effective managerial and
    operational systems have been established;
    – A new water law rationalizing the sector has been passed …”

    Again Ai claims on page 12:

    “Only 13 permits were granted in the 29 years from 1967 to 1996 (when the PWA was established), but all of these were for projects for domestic use only and they were not sufficient to make up even for the replacement of wells that had dried up or fallen into disrepair since 1967. . . .

    The regime put in place by the Israeli army not only prevented the development of new Palestinian wells and infrastructure, but also limited the use and upkeep of existing ones. It prevented the rehabilitation of old wells. . .”

    False: There were no severe restrictions on drilling new wells, and nearly 50 new well were drilled for the Palestinian population. Besides, during this period Israel drilled or permitted the drilling of over 50 new wells for the Palestinian population, laid hundreds of kilometers of new water mains and connected hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns to the newly built water system.

    To conclude something about Palestinian children in the WB and how they brave their hot sommers:

    Haaretz – Last update – 01:25 08/08/2007
    W. Bank swimming pools help Palestinians brave the heat
    By Avi Issacharoff

    DURA – Lifeguard Ahmed Rajoub jumps to his feet and whistles loudly. “Stop it right now,” he shouts at a group of boys causing a ruckus.

    “This pool is the pride of the West Bank,” he says, still eyeing the boys. The clover-leaf-shaped pool, one of whose walls is adorned with the word “welcome” in Arabic, formed out of small stones, is not the only attraction at Al-Khahuf (the caves). “Come back in the evening, you can even see the sea from here,” Rajoub says. The view from this small recreation complex in the village of Dura, near Hebron, is indeed breathtaking.

    Al-Khahuf sits on a topographical saddle between two hills that slope westward toward Beit Govrin. The hills are covered with terraces of grape vines, olive orchards, figs and other fruit trees. This Tuscany in the West Bank couldn’t seem more removed from the Israeli occupation or the Palestinian infighting.

    “Swimming pools have become trendy in the West Bank,” says Rajoub, 30. “It’s because of the occupation. We used to be able to travel freely to the beach in Israel. Everybody from Hebron would go on Friday. But now we’re not allowed. We had to find alternatives.”

    Nowadays, every city in the West Bank has a pool or a recreational complex: Bethlehem has one similar to Al-Khahuf, while Ramallah has more than 10. One of Jenin’s swimming champs committed a suicide bombing at Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant in August 2001. Nablus has a pool reserved for women, and an Olympic pool. Another pool and recreation complex sits between Nablus and Tubas.

    Al-Khahuf draws about 2,500 people on an average weekend day, Rajoub says. Abdullah Abu-Znayid, the owner’s brother, gives us a tour of the small caves hewn into the mountainside. The first is for VIPs. “This is where important people come to drink coffee. Jibril Rajoub and Mustafa Barghouti have been here,” he says.

    Despite the heat, the women are fully clothed. “Arabs do not allow mixed swimming,” the owner, Abd al-Karim, explains. Most of the women are sitting near the ferris wheel, looking longingly at the bathers. Al-Karim says he would soon be opening a pool for women, by popular demand.

    Al Karim says people denounced him when he first opened the pool. “Even in the mosque, they were afraid I’d sell alcohol here. But after a few months, they saw there was no alcohol and no problems. Now, the Islamic Movement sends its campers here.”

    Entrance costs NIS 10. “I make a living. And because it’s cheap, Arab Israelis come here too.

    At the petting zoo, which has a camel, a pony and a giant snake, we meet Tamara, a young East Jerusalemite here for the first time.

    “Israel is still better,” she sniffs. “Can you compare this to Tel Aviv?”

  44. David said on December 7th, 2009 at 9:44pm #


    How foolish of me to believe the occupier (Israel) is exploiting the occupied (the Palestinians) by stealing not only their lands, but their water as well. Gosh, I’m so confused – here’s another article by a “self-hating” Jew who sides with the Palestinians on the issue and he actually lives there:

    Jeff Halper: “The [Jewish-only] settlement blocs are consciously built atop the [occupied] West Bank aquifers from which Israel draws about 30 percent of its water in violation of international law, which prohibits an Occupying Power from utilizing the resources of an occupied territory. Indeed, 80 percent of the water resources of the West Bank and Gaza are under Israeli control, and a full 80 percent of the water coming from the West Bank goes to Israel and its settlements. Only 20 percent is allocated to its 2.5 million Palestinian inhabitants, and they receive none of the water pumped from the Jordan River. As for consumption, the settlers use six times more water per capita than Palestinians. Per capita water consumption in the West Bank for domestic and urban use (drinking, washing, consumption by public institutions, watering parks, and so on) is only 60 liters per person per day, far below the minimum water consumption of 100 liters per person per day recommended by the World Health Organization; Israelis consume 350 liters per person per day. Mekorot, the Israeli water carrier, which controls all the water of the country, allocates 1,450 cubic meters of water per year to each settler, while a Palestinian receives only 83. Around 215,000 Palestinians living in 270 West Bank villages have no running water at all. The destruction of Palestinian wells and water mains, which has intensified with the construction of the [“separation”] wall over the main aquifers, creates months of water shortages, while the need to purchase water from Israeli tank trucks, costing $3 during the rainy season and up to $8 in the dry months, is beyond the financial resources of the impoverished population. As a final blow, Palestinians are forbidden to collect rainwater in open reservoirs.”

    Yikes, here’s another one. They’re everywhere!

    Drought and Israeli Policy Threaten West Bank Water Security
    by Stephen Lendman

    Fresh water is precious everywhere but especially in one of the driest, hottest places on earth – the Middle East. It’s why it’s a strategic resource and the reason countries like Israel do everything possible to secure a reliable supply. In the words of former prime minister Moshe Sharett: “Water to us is life itself.” It shapes Israeli policy going back to the early Mandate period.

    A Brief History

    Post-WW I, Zionists wanted Sykes-Picot borders altered to include the Jordan River, Lower Litani, east coast of the Sea of Galilee and Lower Yarmouk headwaters and tributaries. These affect Palestine, southern Lebanon, Syria and the Jordan Valley. Efforts to secure them fell short because French opposition blocked them. But it didn’t prevent further regional hydrological studies. They were needed because by WW II’s end accommodating a growing Palestinian and Jewish population grew acute.

    Israel’s “War of Independence” followed in 1947-48. It assured water sovereignty as well. Israel was free to act unilaterally – to tap and develop all available resources plus whatever it could seize later on. They’d be needed after Israel’s 1950 Law of Return was passed. It granted Jews worldwide special rights – to emigrate freely and become citizens of the land of Israel. It brought in waves of new immigrants requiring considerable water resources for them, but Israel’s supply was inadequate. At the time, four states shared the Jordan-Yarmouk watershed. Developing it was essential. Each had growing needs so securing a dependable supply was vital.

    Several regional water-sharing proposals failed in part because Israel linked them to recognizing the Jewish state. It also rejected solutions not in its strategic interest and acted unilaterally instead. Take its National Water Carrier project. Construction began in the late 1950s and early 1960s and became the country’s largest water project – to transfer Sea of Galilee northern water to highly populated areas in the center and south and to facilitate efficient water use. To neighboring Arab states, however, it was a hostile act, and they responded with their own diversion plans. Israel viewed them as a national security threat.

    Confrontation followed. The National Water Carrier was targeted. Israel retaliated against Syrian construction sites. Skirmishes broke out, and the 1967 war resulted. Officially it began on June 5, 1967. Others, including Ariel Sharon, said it started two and a half years earlier when Israel acted against diverting the Jordan River. Earlier, Ben-Gurion warned that Jews and Arabs would battle over strategic water resources and determine Palestine’s fate. Its people as well. Aside from other strategic aims for land and regional control, Israel secured water rich lands in southern Lebanon, Jordan, the Golan, and West Bank.

    It fully exploited them and is a key reason why the Golan was never returned. West Bank water is another issue. It has three principle aquifers supplying about one-quarter of Israel’s needs, including for its settlements and nearly all of what West Bank Palestinians get. They are:

    — the Yarkon-Tanninim Aquifer supplying Israel with about 340 million cubic meters (mcm) of water annually – to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv mainly; Palestinians get far less – about 20 mcm a year;

    — the Nablus-Gilboa Aquifer supplying about 115 mcm annually, largely for agricultural irrigation in Galilee-based kibbutzim and moshavim cooperative settlements;

    — the Eastern Aquifer supplying about 40 mcm a year to Jordan Valley-based settlements; another 60 mcm go to Palestinians.

    Water also comes from the upper Jordan River and its tributaries – the Sea of Galilee, the Yarmouth, and lower Jordan River. Palestinians are denied most of it. As their population grows, shortages have become more acute because of Israel’s restrictive policies.

    Israel’s Water Policy in the Territories

    The policy works this way – to preserve an unequal division of western, eastern, and northern West Bank aquifer supply. It was the same for Gaza’s aquifer prior to disengagement. The result is a hugely disproportionate distribution policy causing growing shortages for Palestinians. Israel does little to alleviate it. It invests little in infrastructure leaving 20% of West Bank Palestinians unconnected to a running-water system:

    — around 227,000 in 220 West Bank towns and villages;

    — another 190,000 only partially connected; and

    — even in towns and villages with a water network, most often supply is irregular – only on some hours of the day and sometimes rotationally; in distant areas, supply may be disconnected for days or weeks; it’s part of Mekorot’s (Israel’s National Water Company) discriminatory policy to assure settlers are adequately supplied.

    In addition, Israeli maintenance (for Palestinians) is shoddy. Water pipes are old and leak, and in some cases more than 50% of fresh water is lost. Qalqiliya and Tulkarm have been especially affected.

    Consider the disparity between Israeli and Palestinian supply. For Palestinians, per capita West Bank consumption is 60 liters a day – for domestic, urban, rural, and industrial use. It’s far below the minimum 100 daily liters required according to the World Health Organization. In contrast, look how much Israelis get – 280 liters a day per capita for domestic, urban and rural use or about four and a half times more than Palestinians. Including industrial use, and it’s 330 liters or five a half times Palestinian consumption.

    Israeli Violations of International Law on Water in the Occupied Territories

    By integrating Occupied Territory water resources into its legal and bureaucratic system and denying Palestinians the right to develop them for their own use, Israel violates international law under Articles 43 and 55 of the 1907 Hague Regulations. Also Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to treating “all protected persons….with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are….”

    Then there’s Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. It requires water division between states to be reasonable and equitable. Not according to a specific formula but with regard to seven factors:

    — the watercourse’s shared natural features – its geography, climate, hydrology, and so forth;

    — each state’s social and economic needs;

    — its population;

    — how watercourse use in one state affects another;

    — watercourse existing and potential uses;

    — watercourse resources conservation, protection and development and the cost of measures to assure them; and

    — planned or existing use alternatives.

    Taking international law and all the above factors into account, Palestinian rights are severely compromised.

    Water security is crucial for Israel. Securing and preserving supply essential. In the occupied West Bank, Arabs are prohibited from drilling new wells without special permission, but it’s practically impossible to get and won’t likely change. Many existing wells were also sealed to restrict Palestinians to a very low quota, far below Israelis. Most West Bank water goes to Israel and the expanding settlement population. Jordan River water is also diverted – from 50 to 75%. As its population grows, so does its water needs. It was one among other factors behind the 1982 Lebanon invasion – to control the Litani River in the country’s south. It remains out of reach today, but a richer resource would be to secure access to major rivers like the Nile, Euphrates or Seyhan and Ceyhan in Turkey.

    Since the 1990s, water and other environmental issues were among the most important in Israeli bilateral relations. Its October 1994 peace treaty with Jordan included five annexes. Two addressed water and environmental concerns.

    The water rich Golan has been a stumbling block toward a similar deal with Syria. It’s much the same in bilateral Palestinian talks. The Territories’ water resources have been over-exploited for years, but precious little of it for Palestinian use. It’s a major destabilizing factor and obstacle to real peace and security. So many issues are at stake. One rarely discussed is the inequitable distribution of scarce and valued water resources.

    Summer Drought Compounds the Problem

    Israelis nearly always have enough water for their needs – agricultural, drinking, bathing, watering lawns, washing cars, and filling swimming pools for those who have them. In contrast, Palestinians have precious little. In summer it’s always worse, but this year, 2008, the most severe draught in a decade made it grave. In the northern West Bank, consumption is at about one-third the minimum required. It’s because rainfall this year has been less than two-thirds normal. In southern areas, it’s barely over half. Cities like Tubas, Jenin, Nablus and the Southern Hebron hills have been especially impacted.

    According to Palestinian Water Authority estimates, the West Bank’s water shortfall is from 42 to 69 mcm. Its consumption is 79 mcm making emergency supplies needed. Throughout the West Bank, per capita consumption is about 66 liters (for domestic, urban, rural and industrial use), far below the World Health Organization’s 100 liter minimum for personal needs.

    Making matters worse is the price of privately purchased water that constitutes 50% of West Bank supply – from 15 to 30 shekels or three to six times higher that Israelis pay. Because of this year’s shortfall, it’s heading higher and putting an impossible burden on impoverished Palestinians to buy enough of it. The alternative is drinking from questionable sources after amounts collected in cisterns run dry – stagnant water or from dirty springs that may expose users to frequent and serious illnesses.

    Oslo II’s Broken Promise

    The 1995 Oslo II agreement assured “the equitable utilization of joint water resources for implementation in and beyond the interim period.” It never happened because Israel’s Palestinian dealings are nearly always duplicitous. It sets traps and uses devious language to assure interpretations go its way.

    Post-Oslo II, a Joint Water Committee (JWC) was established to approve new West Bank water and sewage projects. It’s composed of an equal number of Israeli and Palestinian representatives, but that’s where equality ends. All decisions are by consensus, but no procedure is in place to settle disputes when agreement can’t be reached. As a result, Israel can veto Palestinian requests for new wells – even though Oslo II assured it.

    Desalinization Plans

    The publication New Scientist has covered “the latest science and technology news, reports, developments and research” for over 50 years. In May 2004, it reported that Israel had a “secret plan for a giant desalination plant to supply (privatized) drinking water to (Palestinians in) the West Bank.” It was to preserve fresh water supplies for Israelis, but here’s the catch. Israel won’t fund it nor can Palestinians. It means the world community or possibly the US would have to do it. Just as bad, if it’s ever completed, is the cost as leading hydrologists point out: “desalinating seawater and pumping it to the West Bank….would cost around $1 per cubic meter,” an impossible amount for Palestinians to pay at an exchange rate of 3.3 shekels to the dollar. Many if not most Israelis as well.

    Nonetheless, Alvin Newman, USAID’s Tel Aviv head of water resources, supported the project, and with good reason. If funding is secured, it would mean lucrative business contracts for favored USAID contractors. Palestinians, on the other hand, are fearful. They object to desalinization plans dependent on their abandoning claims to West Bank water – resources beneath their own land. Ihad Barghothi, Palestinian Water Authority’s head of water projects said at the time: “We cannot do that (nor do we) have the money or expertise for desalination.”

    Gaza is another issue. It depends almost exclusively on small wells tapping the coastal aquifer. But as the water table falls, it’s being increasingly polluted by salt sea water. UN scientists conclude that within 15 years (from 2004) Gaza will have no drinkable water and will have to import its needs. But even now the World Health Organization reports that Gaza’s water quality falls below its acceptable standards due to the aquifer’s degradation. Besides that, 40% of Gaza homes lack running water, according to the Palestinian Water Authority.

    Another possible solution is an approved and apparently funded so-called ocean depth reverse osmosis plant to provide the Territory’s supply. It’s another method of desalinating sea water, but here again there’s the cost.

    New Scientist points out that if these two projects become reality they’ll make “Palestine more dependent on desalination than almost any other nation in the world.” And given the cost of desalinated water, it will be out of reach for the great majority of impoverished Palestinians.

    Palestinian Resilience and Nonviolent Resistance

    Palestinian resilience is impressive despite overwhelming obstacles. Take Nahhalin village, 20 kilometers southeast of Bethlehem where the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ) is active. For the past 17 years, it’s represented Palestinian interests – economic, social, natural resources management, sustainable agriculture, politics, and water management.

    In 2007, it began a waste water treatment project it will replicate in other rural areas to provide new sources of water for irrigation. In Nahhalin, ARIJ’s water and environment research unit will install on-site waste water treatment systems for about 180 homes accommodating 1800 people. The project is scheduled for completion in 2010. Wherever else it’s used, it’ll manage waste water and improve access to fresh supplies. ARIJ believes its plan is one of the most feasible and economical ways to provide a sanitary use for household waste water. When in place, it’ll increase agricultural productivity and food security, a vital Palestinian concern.

    ARIJ sees other benefits as well. Treatment units will be manufactured locally to provide much needed jobs. In addition, these type projects further peace and are powerful nonviolent resistance acts.

    The Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG) complements ARIJ’s efforts with its own projects. It’s an NGO “promot(ing) the role of women in civil societies in managing local water and its related environmental resources to ensure transparency, good water governance and just and equal provision of water and sanitation services to the rural and marginal communities in the West Bank and Gaza.”

    One of its projects is in the northern West Bank villages of Jayyus and Karr Jammal near Qalqilya where Israel’s Separation Wall cuts off off farmers from their lands. PHG is helping them maintain pumps and irrigation systems so they have greater control of their natural resources despite overwhelming Israeli restrictions. It’s another expression of their nonviolent resistance and it’s spreading.

    International law is supportive. It recognizes non-discriminatory access to adequate fresh water as a fundamental human right and requires occupying powers to assure it. The UN General Assembly also affirmed Palestinians’ right to self-determination and control of their natural resources – in Resolutions 1803 (1962), 2672C, (1970), 2787 (1971) and 3098D (1980).

    In December 1966, it adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 1(1) affirms self-determination, and Article 1(2) states: “All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic cooperation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.” It’s now up to the international body to enforce its own rulings.
    Oh man, I can’t believe it. Here’s another bunch of “self-hating” Jews who agree with AI:

    19.07.2009 | Rabbis For Human Rights

    Israel leaves the inhabitants of the West bank thirsty
    Join us in a protest against the water shortages caused by the occupation

    Dry water taps – no water for drinking or bathing, many months during the summer heat. Since March this is the situation of many families in the villages Qarawat Bani Zayed, Kufr ‘Ein, Ramani & Nabi Salah, 15,000 people. In the same time, these Palestinian villagers can see beyond the settlements’ fences a different situation. They see green lawns and sprinklers irrigating the whole day. A similar situation exsists in many other parts of the West Bank.

    We hereby call activists to join and donate money to the protest campaign

    Checques can be made to Rabbis For Human Rights,

    9 Harechavim St. Jerusalem, 93462, Israel.

    Or to account No.153380 in Bank Hapoalim branch 782, Aza, Jerusalem.

    N.B.: Mention for water campaign

    In a later announcement we shall give details about the water convoy to Qarawat Bani Zayed that will take place on 07/08/09

    Further activities will consist of demonstrations, petitions, letters, appeals to MKs, embassies and intl. organizations.

    Details and comments: Yuval 050-7336117, Yakov 050-5733276, 09-7670801 email: manor12 AT

    Background: Since the occupation in 1967, Israel took control over most of the water sources in the West Bank, and uses them for Israeli clients and especially for settlers. The mountain acquifer is considered a joint (Palestinian-Israeli) water reservoir that Israel is permitted to use – but not in the current way when 80% of the water is taken by Israel and the remaining 20% are allocated to the millions of Palestinian inhabitants. Other water sources, as in the Jordan valley, are used almost exclusively by Israelis and only meager quantities are left for the usage of Palestinians. The Palestinian inhabitants of the south Hebron area having a serious problem of water shortage as well. In Israel and the settlements, the mean per capita water consumption for domestic and municipal usage is 235 lites per day, and in the occupied territories it is 66 litres per day only. 227,500 people in 220 villages are not connected to the water system. An additional 190,000 people have only partial water supply.

    The Oslo accords reaffirmed the Israeli control over the water supply and pumping. The Palestinians assumed that it was a temporary agreement, and according to the time table that was established then, by May 1999 an independent Palestinian state would be established with control over its natural resources. The continuing water shortage increases the anger and frustration the Palestinians feel.

    The small quantity of water supplied to the Palestinians is not distributed equally. As the water runs through the pipes the quantity reduces and as a home is situated higher up the pressure diminishes, and as a result the highest situated homes do not receive supply at all.

    The village Qarawat Bani Zayed, situated on a mountain slope, is an example to this difficult situation. Lately Israeli peace activists visited this village and heard of this difficult situation. Many inhabitants of this village have to purchase water from water tanks at high prices – up to NIS 40 to 1 cubic metre of water, ten times its price in Israel or the settlements. Abud spring that gave them water before the occupation was caught by Mekorot, the Israeli water supply company, and only a small portion of its water currently arrives at the village.

    Supplying enough water to the Palestinian civilians – for their homes, public and agricultural needs is not a favour or act of compassion. This is a legal and moral obligation whose violation is a serious crime against international law.

    Organisations participating: Anarchists against the fence, Bat Shalom, Gush Shalom, The Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, The Israeli Committee Against Torture, The Alternative Information Centre, Yesh Gvul, Sadaqa-Reut, Coalition of Women for Peace, Physicians for Human Rights.

  45. Mary said on December 9th, 2009 at 7:01am #

    It’s nearly a since since the barbarians launched Cast Lead on the captives in Gaza. Since then nothing has been done to rebuild their homes or open the borders. Now even the tunnels are being closed off. Vital goods and food are coming in by this route. A slow death awaits as the prison is closed tight.

    Egypt building iron wall on Gaza border to stop tunnel smuggling

    Egypt has begun the construction of a massive iron wall along its border with the Gaza Strip, in a bid to shut down smuggling tunnels into the territory. The wall will be nine to 10 kilometers long, and will go 20 to 30 meters into the ground, Egyptian sources said. It will be impossible to cut or melt.

    The new plan is the latest move by Egypt to step up its counter-smuggling efforts. Although some progress had been made, the smuggling market in Gaza still flourishes.

    Egyptian forces demolish tunnels or fill them with gas almost every week, often with people still inside them, and Palestinian casualties in the tunnels have been steadily rising.

    Recently, Egypt examined several possibilities of blocking the tunnels, and joint American-Egyptian patrols have been seen in Rafah attempting to detect tunnels using underground sensors.

    Construction of the wall has already begun. It will be made of enormous slates of steel, reaching deep into the ground. However, it is not expected to stem smuggling completely.

    Several defense sources told Haaretz they believe that once captive soldier Gilad Shalit is released, Israel will have to re-examine the benefits of closing Gaza off. The closure has been undermined by the tunnel system, which provides not only munitions but food, cars, motorcycles, drugs, medicine and fuel, much more than what Israel allows into the Strip through the official border crossing.

    The tunnels also allow people to cross in and out of the Strip, including terrorists who linked up with pro-Al-Qaida groups in Gaza and tried to carry out attacks in Egypt, defense sources said.

    The smuggling industry is so institutionalized that tunnel operators purchase licenses from the Rafah municipality, allowing them to connect to electricity and water. Hamas has also been ensuring no children are employed in the tunnels, and is taxing all smuggled goods.

    The Egyptians often intercept munitions before they can enter the Strip and have stepped up checks at internal roadblocks and checkpoints in the Sinai. Observers say mounting American pressure is in part responsible for increasing Egyptian efforts to combat the smugglers.

  46. Mary said on December 9th, 2009 at 7:11am #

    From Free
    9 December 2009

    December 27th-January 18th 2009-2010 marks the one-year anniversary of Israel’s brutal ‘Operation Cast Lead’ against the people of besieged Gaza.

    Free Gaza is asking groups around the world to show Spanish Film-Maker Alberto Arce and Mohammad Rujailah’s ‘To Shoot an Elephant’ (2009) – an award-winning documentary filmed during Operation Cast Lead, detailing war crimes and the impact on ordinary people, journalists and paramedics. This massacre intensified and escalated an existent policy of ethnic cleansing and deliberate destruction as well as re-inflicted a new Nakba on the Palestinian people.

    The 22-day attack left more than 1,400 dead, the vast majority of them
    civilians, including nearly 400 children. It left over 5000 injured, displaced 50,000 and made 20,000 homeless (until today).

    More than 3,600 homes were completely destroyed and 11,000 partially destroyed.

    Over 258 people died because Israeli forces prevented rescue services from reaching them. Most people were bombed to death in or close to their homes, with over a third (519) cut down by Israeli Drones and another 473 by jet planes.

    Israel used white phosphorous, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, F16s, Apache and Cobra Helicopter gun ships, Naval Vessels, Tanks, APCs, Caterpillar Military Bulldozers and soldiers armed with M16s to systematically kill people and destroy Gaza’s infrastructure, businesses and agricultural land and property.

    • Therefore, we also re-iterate the call from Palestinian Civil Society,
    issued in 2005, for a comprehensive Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign (BDS) against Israel as the primary means to promote human rights and an enforcement of international law.

    • We also ask activists to take direct action in solidarity with
    Palestinians throughout the Middle East, in refugee camps outside of Palestine, struggling against apartheid inside ’48, as well as those resisting the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem and steady bantustanisation of the West Bank.

    Arms companies such as Rafael, Elbit Systems, Lockheed Martin, EDO-ITT, Caterpillar, and companies cementing occupation such as Ireland’s CRT (Cement Roadstone Holdings) (Apartheid Wall) Veolia and Alstom (Jerusalem Light Railway), Carmel-Agrexco (Illegal colonies and agriculture) and Edelman PR as well as Israeli Embassies and the institutions that collude with the occupation such as the European Union.

    The deadly closure of Gaza continues, the colonisation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank continues, and the inalienable right of refugees to return to their homes still remai ns out of reach for millions. Grassroots resistance to Israel’s ongoing attacks has never been as urgent as it is today.


  47. sybil e bondi said on December 9th, 2009 at 9:36am #

    mary,i thank you for telling me about gaza.
    it is terrible what the israelis are doing to the hamas and the people of gaza just because they fired 8,000 rockets at israel.
    these brave gazans should be allowed to fire as many rockets as they want in to israel.
    it is also terrible that apart from brave people like you,nobody really cares about the palestinians.
    the world should give them more money to buy essentials as the eu and usa have only given them 10 billion dollars over the last 5 years.
    it’s not enough as suha arafat and mahmoud abbas has stolen 5 billion dollars when it should have gone to feed starving gazans like ismail haniyah.
    it is so sad that nobody cares but you,mary