Palestinians deprived of water – AI

27 Oct

Amnesty International has released a report on how Palestinians are deprived of water in the Occupied Territories [click here for the lengthier/ more detailed report]. The report, which makes for sombre reading states that Israeli policies ‘are the root cause of the striking disparity in access to water between Palestinians and Israelis’. While Palestinians average consumption of water per person is 70 litres a day, which is well below the WHO 100 minimum litres recommendation, the average Israeli citizen gets up to 20 times more water per capita than neighbouring Palestinian communities (in the West Bank).

In Gaza, up to 90-95% of the water source has been contaminated and unfit for human drinking. Similarly in the West Bank, 180,000 to 200,000 rural Palestinians have no access to running water.

The cause of water deprivation amongst Palestinians is a result of Israel’s systematic  measures that include confiscating water tankers, destroying rainwater cisterns and turning a blind eye towards soldiers who shoot at water tanks amongst other practices.

As an occupying power, Israel has the obligation to ensure that human rights and humanitarian laws are being observed and complied with in the OPT. This means Palestinians’ right to a fair standard of living including their access to water must be respected.

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