Statement on Water Inadequacy for the Palestinians
Approved by the North American Justice Promoters, March 9, 2013
The United Nations has declared March 22 as the first World Water Day. Responding to this call, we, the North American Dominican Justice Promoters, call attention to the daily struggle for water of the people of Palestine.
Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law and consensus1, have robbed the Palestinians of water, cutting off access to their natural springs and siphoning off the supplies of their aquifer. This leaves West Bank Palestinians with an average of 73 liters per person each day2, well below the3 recommended 100 liters minimum. By contrast, West Bank settlements receive up to 400 liters per person each day, and many use this water to maintain swimming pools and spas.4
A recent UN report on settlements states, “Forcible takeovers and vandalism by settlers increasingly impair access to water. Some of the seized springs are turned into ‘tourist attractions’ or recreational sites, which receive Israeli government support.”5 In Gaza, the lack of potable water has reached crisis proportions.
Only 5 percent of the water there is drinkable, and since 2007 Israel has prohibited the entry of material to rehabilitate the water and wastewater systems of Gaza,6 even after Israeli attacks destroyed such facilities during bombing attacks in 2008 and 2012.
We are grieved by this injustice, and call for the return of both water and land rights to those from whom these have been wrongfully taken.
- 2004 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion, paragraph 101
- World Bank, “West Bank and Gaza Assessment of Restrictions on Palestinian Water Sector Development,” April 2009, paragraph 130.
- World Health Organization
- UN Human Rights Council “Report of Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” Jan. 2013, paragraph 85
- Ibid, paragraph 87.
- B’tselem (Israeli Human Rights Organization), August , 2010, “Water Supplied in Gaza Unfit for Drinking.”