Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A Step Too Far

A report by International, published today, condemns Israel for denying the Palestinian people access to even the basic minimum amount of water required for living. The average Palestinian receives 70 litres of water per day though some receive less than 20 (the minimum required during a humanitarian disaster) meanwhile many Israelis are free to enjoy their swimming pools and hosepipes.

The plight of the Palestinians is not helped by the Israeli blockade and the fact that some Israeli soldiers use water tanks for target practice.

The response from Israel has been typically evasive with them claiming that they give to Palestinians the amount of water agreed under a 1990 agreement and going on to say that it is Palestinian mis-management that is the problem. There are two problems with this explanation that are vital for the survival of many Palestinians. Firstly, it is Israel who has control over the water supply to Gaza? These subjected people can only get something as vital as water from a country which wants to see their total defeat and this is a huge problem facing any Palestinian government. The only way this can be solved is if, as Donatella Rovera of Amnesty puts it, "Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water". Secondly, the Palestinians do have an inefficient water infrastructure but this is mainly down to Israeli military operations targeting Palestinian water doing major damage, including $6million worth of damage during the Cast Lead operation last winter.

It is about time the international community did something about this situation as we have moved far beyond politics now and Israel is now slowly killing the Palestinian people by denying them the source of life even many third world countries now take for granted.