From the Editors
This Friday is World Water Day and an opportune time to highlight the gross misallocation of water resources between Israel and the Palestinians. Water is one of the five permanent status issues in the Oslo Peace Accords, twenty years old this year. Accordingly, its accesss and consumption is relegated to political negotiations and beyond the purview of international law on water. As a result, the Palestinian Authority has had little basis upon which to challenge Israel’s confiscation of water for the past twenty years.
Sixty percent of one of Israel’s most significant water sources, the Western Aquifer, is located in the occupied West Bank. Israel derives eighty percent of the Acquifer’s annual yield and Palestinians receive the rest. Prime Ministers Menachim Begin, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Barak consider control and use of Palestinian water use as a precondition to any Palestinian state. Were it subject to international law, at most Israel would receive only fifty percent of shared water resources.
Failure to abide by these terms of reference has devastated the Palestinian economy. Consider that a little more than one-third of the irrigable land in OPT is actually irrigated, which costs the economy 110,000 jobs per year and ten percent of its annual GDP.
While the security sector remains robust, the agricultural sector has shrunk from 28.5% of the economy in 1993 to 5.8% today.
In contrast, the Jordan Valley has become the site of Israel’s multi-million dollar settler agricultural industry. Its 9,400-settler population receives several times more water than does each Palestinian- the figures are more severe in the Jordan Valley itself. While Palestinian farmers have lost their lands and livelihoods in the Jordan Valley, Israeli settlers have been able to flourish due to this inequitable and inhumane distribution of water. European markets continue to absorb these settler commodities. Each settlement peach consumed by British citizens, for example, contains 140 liters of virtual water appropriated from Palestinians. Compare this to the meager twenty liters some Palestinians in the Jordan Valley have access to daily.
Water policy has led to the forced population transfer of Palestinians. Due to the restriction on access to water in the Jordan Valley, or thirty percent of the West Bank, the Palestinian population there, mostly Bedouin, has been diminished from 400,000 in 1967 to 56, 000 today.
On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians will march for water justice in the Jordan Valley, where the most shocking discrepancies in water access can be verified (settlers consuming about 700 liters per person a day living meters away from Palestinians with water quantities comparable to Sub- Saharan African levels). The march will directly challenge Israel’s exclusive control of Area C, 62% of the occupied West Bank. Rather than prepare Area C for Palestinian control, Israel has made it the site of intense colonial-settlement expansion and forced population transfer.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government has launched a public relations campaign to distort these realities. The Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Terri (COGAT) recently issued a factsheet entitled "Water in the West Bank". The document is laden with grave inaccuracies on the state of water supply to Palestinians who in fact access well below the minimum quantities set by the World Health Organization.
This info graphic is created by Visualizing Palestine and EWASH, an international coalition of thirty humanitarian organizations including Oxfam and Save the Children. It depicts the abundance of available water in the occupied West Bank, its appropriation, and ethno-national based distribution between Palestinians and Jewish-Israeli settlers. EWASH will be using this image to highlight the inequitable access to water among other humanitarian organizations during President Obama’s visit to the region.
Download full-sized version here.
[This infographic originally posted on Visualizing Palestine.]
If you prefer, email your comments to email@example.com.
Hot on Facebook
Jadalicious / جدلشس
"The current AKP government has been referencing Europe and its associated symbolisms to justify its various pro-capital, pro-security, and paternalistic policies. Is it viable, then, to draw from the same sources to scrutinize the legitimacy of those policies and to suggest alternatives?"click | email | tweet
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Dozens to Bike from Philadelphia to Washington, DC to Raise Funds for Medical Relief for Gaza’s Children
- حروب الردة أو اغتيال المستقبل
- Defending Palestine Solidarity Activists: An Interview with Dima Khalidi
- Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine’s Tragic Collaborators
- LA Event--From Gaza to Ferguson: A Panel Discussion (18 September 2014)
- Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
- New Texts Out Now: Myriam Ababsa, Atlas of Jordan: History, Territories, and Society
- أسباب الثورة في البحرين: حوار مع مريم الخواجة
- Yasmine Hamdan
- Telepoetic with Rami Abadir
- Media, Activism and the New Political: 'Istanbul Conversations' on New Media and Left Politics
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 16)
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (September 8-14)
- Egypt Media Roundup (September 15)
- Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani: A Profile from the Archives
- Maghreb Media Roundup (September 12)
- The Question of Judeo/Arabic(s): Itineraries of Belonging [Lecture at GMU]
- Syria Media Roundup (September 13)
- Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report -- Fuel and Water: The Coming Crises
- The University of Illinois Board of Trustees Votes against Reinstating Professor Salaita
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
Dozens to Bike from Philadelphia to Washington, DC to Raise Funds for Medical Relief for Gaza’s Children http://t.co/OyXwYbEDG5
11 hours ago
NYC Event -- The War on Gaza: Military Strategy and Historical Horizons (19 September, Columbia University) http://t.co/rvqp9eR10Q
11 hours ago
فواز طرابلسي: حروب الردة أو غتيال المستقبل http://t.co/PqaUQW5Hrc
yesterday at 7:16 AM
LA Event--From Gaza to Ferguson: A Panel Discusion (18 September 2014, UCLA) http://t.co/jPt6USfWSE
yesterday at 7:15 AM
Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine's Tragic Collaborators http://t.co/UNSvNBsD8K
yesterday at 4:57 AM