Israel has recently reconfirmed its intention to implement the decision of the Local Israeli Assembly for Organization and Building to give a piece of land from the Hadera area to build a desalination plant for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority. This decision was made based on a recommendation from the American, Israeli and Palestinian Joint Committee on Water. The news was first published by the Israeli media and then republished by Al-Quds on page 2 of its February 8, 2006 issue.
The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) [...] states that the Palestinian side is unwilling to purchase water at such a high cost from sources that are on the Mediterranean Coast and Jordan River, knowing that this water in fact partially belongs to the Palestinians but is inaccessible for them.
[In addition the PWA states that]:
- The Palestinian side has refused to discuss the issue in tripartite meetings and the issue has not come up in meetings of the American, Israeli and Palestinian Joint Water Committee.
- The Palestinian side refuses to resort to alternative water supplies, such as desalination, before regaining its rights to the water from the aquifers and the River Jordan.
- Israel’s desalination plans do not deal with the issue of Palestinian water rights.
- The PWA is astonished that Israel is publishing this news at the same time as its ongoing attacks on Gaza , which are an attempt to wipe out the Palestinian population living there, have demolished or cause extensive damage to building infrastructure, and have destroyed a number of water pipes.
- The PWA claims that the two desalination projects, one in Hadera and the other in Caesarea, are part of the Israeli strategy to cut back on its water use by approximately 380 million cubic meters by the end of this year and by 700 million cubic meters by 2015.
The PWA has requested that the American side comment on what has been published in the news on this issue, since it has been given the approval to do so by the Israeli, Palestinian, American committee.
Source: EMWIS, 16 Feb 2009
The above news story confirms one of conclusions of a December 2008 case study by Annika Kramer titled “Regional water cooperation and peacebuilding in the Middle East” that “peacebuilding efforts involving Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis soon hit a road block when it comes to actual cooperation in water resources management. This is mainly because water issues are characterised by major inequalities among the three parties and are highly