Stratfor Deceives on Israeli Theft of Palestinian Water Resources

by Dec 28, 2013Foreign Policy0 comments

A map of Israel and Palestine showing the Coastal and Mountain aquifers (Stratfor)

Stratfor published an irritating article on Christmas Day titled "Israel's Water Challenge", which not only doesn't mention the Israeli theft of Palestinian water resources, but goes so far as to imply just the opposite, that Israel generously gives Palestinians water.

Stratfor published an irritating article on Christmas Day titled “Israel’s Water Challenge”, which not only doesn’t mention the Israeli theft of Palestinian water resources, but goes so far as to imply just the opposite, that Israel generously gives Palestinians water.

The closest it comes to pointing out that Israel effectively steals water from occupied Palestinian territory is this statement:

For groundwater, Israel relies on two main aquifers: the Coastal Aquifer and the Mountain Aquifer (which is further divided into subaquifers). Both also lie under the Palestinian territory — in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively.

Both also lie under Palestinian territory, indeed! But the most irritatingly statement in the article is this:

The Oslo II agreement in 1995 between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority also outlined parameters for water cooperation in the West Bank, but in practice, joint management has often failed and the Palestinian population remains heavily dependent on Israel for access to water.

As though the Palestinians were just too backward to manage their own water resources that they had to depend on the benevolent Israelis for water. Never mind how the occupying power destroys Palestinians water cisterns, such as in this example of the West Bank village of Al-Amniyr, as reported by The Guardian in September 2011:

The Palestinian village of al-Amniyr looks from afar like a rubbish tip until you realize that the rubbish is people’s dwellings, which have been destroyed in attacks targeting their water cisterns. The villager Mohammed Ahmad Jabor’s water cistern has been destroyed three times this year. The last time was by the settlers. The settler attacks come generally at night and where they cannot destroy water cisterns they poison them by putting chicken carcasses in them. The second time Jabor’s cistern was destroyed was by Israeli soldiers who destroyed seven tent dwellings and a sheep pen…. The land has been declared as agricultural, a designation which prohibits residents from constructing structures of any kind, especially cisterns. Construction needs permits, which are all but impossible to obtain…. And under another law, if the land is not used for three years, it reverts to Israel. So the inhabitants … are faced with a catch-22. If they comply with the law they cannot build cisterns and collect even rainwater. But if they fail to use their land agriculturally, they lose it anyway.

Never mind that, as Amnesty International has reported, the problem of lack of access to water for Palestinians “arises principally because of Israeli water policies and practices which discriminate against the Palestinian population”. An Amnesty report from October 2009 elaborated:

The inequality in access to water between Israelis and Palestinians is striking. Palestinian consumption in the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories] is about 70 liters a day per person—well below the 100 liters per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization—whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 liters, is about four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survive on far less than even the average 70 liters, in some cases barely 20 liters per day, the minimum amount recommended by the WHO for emergency situations response.

Access to water resources by Palestinians in the OPT is controlled by Israel and the amount of water available to Palestinians is restricted to a level which does not meet their needs and does not constitute a fair and equitable share of the shared water resources. Israel uses more than 80 percent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the only source of underground water in the OPT, as well as all of the surface water available from the Jordan River of which Palestinians are denied any share.

Palestinians are prevented from accessing their own water supply by the occupying power, and then are forced to buy back that very same water from that very same occupying power. As Amnesty further notes,

Israel allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the occupied West Bank, while the unlawful Israeli settlements there receive virtually unlimited supplies.

It is inconceivable that the analysts at Stratfor are unaware of the basic facts of the matter in this regard. The only plausible explanation is a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the truth in order not to portray Israel negatively.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

By recognizing when we are being lied to and why, we can fight effectively for liberty, peace, and justice, in order to create a better world for ourselves, our children, and future generations of humanity.

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