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Israeli company reduces water supply to Palestinians

Israeli water company Mekorot reduces water supply to West Bank's Bethlehem, Hebron
2 min read
16 July, 2023
The Palestinian Water Authority described the move reducing Bethlehem and Hebron's water supply as 'racist' and 'discriminatory'.
Palestinians, who are faced with Israeli restrictions, consume water below the internationally-recommended amount [Getty]

Israeli national water company Mekorot has reduced the daily amount of water supply to the occupied West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem, the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) said on Saturday.

The PWA said that Mekorot has decreased the water supply by 6,000 cups, and is depriving Palestinians of having sufficient access to water, especially during rising summer temperatures currently witnessed in the West Bank.

The water authority went on to describe the move as "racist."

"There are no technical reasons behind this reduction," the PWA said.

"No faults were detected in the supplying source, but rather it [the move] comes as a discriminatory measure that adds to the racist policies practiced by the occupation authorities," the authority continued, as cited by the official Palestinians Wafa news agency.

Palestinians in the West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip have long suffered from insufficient water supplies and droughts, as Israel controls 80 percent of water reserves in the occupied territory.

Farmers in particular have faced extreme difficulties adequately cultivating their lands in the West Bank due to restrictive water supplies, whereas illegal Israeli settlers aren’t faced with such obstacles.

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Israelis, including illegal settlers in the West Bank, consume on average 247 litres per person a day – three times more than a Palestinians, who consume an average of 82.4 litres a day, according to the Israeli NGO B’tselem.

Only 36 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank are supplied with running water every day, the NGO stated in a report in May this year.

The water consumption per Palestinian on average is less than the internationally-recommended amount, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), who recommends 100 litres per day.

The disparity in water supplies for Palestinians and Israelis is just one of the inequalities Palestinians are subjected to at the hands of Israel, which has occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967.