Water as a weapon

The PA has not implemented any of the water saving methods Israel uses or adopted any water projects to improve their situation, but that doesn't keep them from claiming falsely that Israel is using their water. And demanding more.

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Dr. Alex Grobman

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Arutz 7

Palestinian Arabs continually portray themselves as victims of the Jewish state. Among their many false and slanderous accusations is that Israel is responsible for the water crisis that affects their cities, towns and villages.

The scarcity of fresh water has become a major global problem as a result of a steep increase in population, agriculture and industrial growth, obsolete infrastructure, excessive extraction of water from aquifers, inefficient planting of crops, and pollution from fertilizers and pesticides and a decrease in rainfall.

Instead of surrendering to this seemingly insurmountable environmental challenge, Israel has mastered the management of her water resources enabling the country to withstand periodic droughts.  As one expert observed, “Israel has transformed water from a struggle with nature to an economic input: You can get all you want if you plan and pay for it.” [1]

Rather than managing their own water resources and assuming responsibility for the water shortages in Judea and Samaria in areas under its control, the Palestinian Authority accuses Israel of securing a disproportionate amount of water for Israeli citizens at the expense of the Palestinian Arabs.

The Palestinian Arabs want a significant volume of water reallocated for their use. Some contend the water should be distributed according to the quantity of rain accumulating in each other’s territory.  Determining how much freshwater from aquifers and groundwater belongs to each party is problematic, since water does not flow according to boundaries. There are also questions about the amount of rain that accumulates and the volume of storage capacity available under each party’s territory, “or some combination of the two.” The primary problem is there is not sufficient fresh water in the Middle East for everyone. [2]


Israelis argue that they should not be penalized for investing large sums of funds in equipment and technology enabling them to obtain water and manage it wisely.
Israelis argue that they should not be penalized for investing large sums of funds in equipment and technology enabling them to obtain water and manage it wisely and economically in the public and private sectors. [3]   Israel has built desalination plants, developed recycling water technology, conceived a strategy for transporting water and devised methods to harvest rainwater and reuse wastewater. More than 80% of all municipal sewage in Israel is reclaimed, which is considerably more than that of any other country. The U.S. only recycles two to three percent of its municipal water. By 2020, treated wastewater is expected to satisfy 50% of Israel’s agricultural requirements, and eventually 100% of agriculture’s needs. [4]

These innovations, together with a number of water conservation measures, are vital for an arid country with more than eight million people. This is especially true after successive years of drought have worsened ground and surface water scarcity and harmed Israel’s stream and wetland ecological systems. [5]

Israel has several desalination plants -- including the Sorek plant, the world's largest desalination plant of its kind, which became fully operational in October 2013. Israel plans to increase her total desalination capacity through 2020 until it approaches the estimated annual amount of internally generated natural water resources. [6] Nearly 35 percent of Israel's drinking-quality water emanates from desalination. That number is expected to surpass 40 percent by 2015 and 70 percent in 2050. [7]

The plant, extending almost six football fields in length, is located approximately 10 miles south of Tel Aviv.  The vast complex is fortified with fences, security cameras and guards. To prevent cyber-attacks, it is not connected to the Internet.  The plant generates around 20 percent of Israel's municipal water, drawing in seawater from the Mediterranean Sea “through a pair of 2.5-meter-wide pipes, filtering it through advanced ‘membranes’ that remove the salt, and churning out clean drinking water. A salty discharge, or brine, gets pumped back into the sea, where it is quickly absorbed.”[8] 

Avshalom Felber, chief executive of IDE Technologies, the company operating the plant, said Sorek produces 624,000 cubic meters of potable water every day. The production cost is among the lowest in the world, providing a typical family with water for about $300 to $500 a year. [9]

The plant has been profound development for Israel. “We have all the water we need, even in the year which was the worst year ever regarding precipitation," said Avraham Tenne, head of the desalination division of Israel's Water Authority. "This is a huge revolution."  For Gidon Bromberg, the Israel director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, an environmental advocacy group, "Desalination, combined with Israel's leadership in wastewater reuse, presents political opportunities that were not available even five years ago." [10]

The distribution of Israeli water has become an effective weapon used against Israel. When European Parliament President Martin Schulz addressed the Israeli Knesset in German in February 2014, he quoted an Arab he met in Ramallah who asked “How can it be that Israelis are allowed to use 70 liters of water per day, but Palestinians only 17?" In other words, why is the average amount of water available to the Israelis significantly more than allotted to the average Palestinian Arab? [11]

The question angered Naftali Bennett, leader of The Jewish Home party, who invited Schulz to speak to the Knesset. [12] “The words that were heard in the Knesset are very grave,” Bennett said. “Silence in the face of false propaganda legitimizes actions against Israelis. I will not accept false moralizing against the people of Israel, in Israel’s Knesset. Certainly not in German.”

Later he wrote on Facebook that, “Israel’s mistake is that it has always been silent in the face of lies. No longer.”[13]

Bennett, members of his party and other MKs, left the Knesset hall in protest after shouting that Schulz was echoing Palestinian Arab lies. [15] Prime Minister Netanyahu sought to set the record straight when he said, “According to both the Palestinian water authority and our data, these facts are incorrect. The parliament president said, in all honestly, ‘I didn’t check.’ But that didn’t prevent him from casting aspersions. While they repeat accusations against Israel without examining them, they seal their ears from other things,” he added, referring to assurances from Schulz that Iran had ceased calling for the destruction of Israel. [16]

Perhaps this episode might have been avoided had EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen invited a more representative group to a dinner he hosted in honor of Schulz a day before the Knesset speech. Labor MK Hilik Bar was the only politician at the event. Inexplicably, none of the invitees were from the government or right-wing parties. [17]

Schulz informed the group that had just returned from visiting the Palestinian Authority, where they informed him of the water problem and their lack of freedom of movement. Not one of the participants at the dinner took issue with these distortions. Some even said that international pressure would enable Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make the necessary decisions to reach a peace agreement. [18]

At a news conference in Ramallah in July 2012, Shaddad Attili, the head of the Palestinian Water Authority, charged that Israel allots 70 times more water to every Israeli settler than to the average Palestinian Arab in Judea and Samaria, approximately a quarter of the 400 million cubic meters required by international criterion.[19]

Attil claimed that most of the water resources in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are controlled by Israel, which will not increase the allocation for the Arab Palestinians, compelling the Palestinian Water Authority to purchase water from Israel. The authority, already mired in financial crisis, is then forced to add billions more shekels to its debt.  Further exacerbating the problem, he said, is that 95 percent of the water is not safe to drink, and sea water, polluted with sewage threatens the long-term health of the population with kidney disease. At this rate there might not be any drinking water available in Gaza within one year. [20]

A comprehensive report detailing how Israel “has neglected its responsibilities under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law as well as UN resolutions for the respect, protection and fulfillment of the rights to water and sanitation of Palestinians” was sent to the U.N. Human Rights Council in February 2013. [21] 

For years, most of the media supported the Arab Palestinian account of the water problem. [22] In 2012, Lauro Burkart, a Swiss graduate student, wrote “The Politicization of the Oslo Water Agreement,” which provided an independent analysis of the scarcity of water. [23] Burkart interviewed Palestinian Arabs, Israelis, representatives of NGOs and contributor nations, and examined original documents including the minutes of the meetings of the joint Israeli Palestinian Water Committee (JWC). [24]

With regard to Shaddad Attili, Burkart concluded: “His water policy is very political. He conceded to internal pressures that are directed against the Israeli occupation….As a reaction to these pressures, he refuses any further cooperation and blames Israel for the slow development of the water sector. He was able to convince the international community of his view by emphasizing the sometimes difficult approval process in the framework of the JWC or C.A [Israeli Civil Administration]. His goal is clearly to fight the Israeli presence in the West Bank and not to solve the issue of water scarcity.” [25] 

The result of this politicization Burkart said is “a complete stagnation of the water negotiations during the last five years. The JWC is neither meeting often nor regularly and wastewater as well as desalination projects are not advancing. If this situation lasts, the region will suffer serious consequences as increased population growth will raise the demand. Meanwhile, water tables will lower due to over extraction and wastewater intrusion of groundwater. Therefore, a solution is absolutely necessary.”

Another element of the problem is that “there is well founded evidence of mismanagement within the PWA [Palestinian Water Authority].  Furthermore, “there is no clear legal separation between the political and executive level within the Palestinian water institutions.”[26] 

Burkart found the objectives of the Oslo II water agreement have been achieved regarding the amount of water supplied to the Palestinian Arab population (178 mcm/year in 2006). The Oslo water agreement estimated that demand would eventually reach 200 mcm/year. Therefore, “the current situation by far exceeds the additional water supply that was agreed upon for the interim period, 28.6 mcm/year, and reaches almost the estimated future needs. The goals of Oslo have been reached regarding the quantities supplied to the Palestinian population.”  [27]

Haim Gvirtzman, a professor of hydrology at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University, and a member of the Water Authority Council, also refutes the PA’s allegations that it is negatively affected by water shortages and cites international law to prove his argument. “These claims,” Gvirtzman points out,  “amount to more than 700 million cubic meters of water per year(MCM/Y),  including rights over the groundwater reservoir of the Mountain Aquifer[ shared by Israelis and Palestinian Arabs with an multiannual average of water with the aquifer at 679 MCM], the Gaza Strip Coastal Aquifer and the Jordan River. These demands amount to more than 50 percent of the total natural water available between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.”  Significantly, formerly classified records confirms that at present there is practically no difference in per capita of natural water consumption between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs. [28]

There is no justification, Gvirtzman argues, for the Palestinian Arabs to demand more water based international legal standards. The Palestinian Arabs and Israelis signed a water agreement, which delineates the amount of water to be allocated, and Israel has exceeded this requirement.  Israel’s possession of the Mountain Aquifer was legally established in the 1940s. The Aquifer legitimately belongs to the state of Israel. [29] 

The Palestinian Arabs should not be pumping groundwater from the Western Aquifer, used by Israel, before first exploiting the groundwater from the Eastern Aquifer, which is not being utilized. Finally, Gvirtzman said the Palestinian Arabs should be “preventing leaks in domestic pipelines, implementing conservative irrigation techniques, and reusing sewage water as irrigation.” Since the Palestinian Arabs have not implemented any of these water saving suggestions or adopted any water projects to improve the situation, they have no right to demand any more water from Israel. [30]

There are other problems as well. The Palestinian Arabs do not have a centralized water supply and illegal drilling is widespread. [31] Haim Gvirtzman found there are more than 250 such illicit wells, which extract about 15 MCM /Y of water. These pirated wells are then connected to the PA’s electricity grid.

The PA illegally and secretly connects to the water lines of Israel's Mekorot National Water Company in order to steal Israel's water from wherever they can. [32] Since it costs nothing, there is no reason to conserve, resulting in excessive domestic and agricultural water use. [33]

Palestinian Arab farmers, for example, regularly “overwater their crops” through antiquated, wasteful flooding processes. A minimum one third of the water extracted from the ground (again, in violation of their accords with Israel) is squandered through seepage and mismanagement. They do not recycle the water or use treated water for agriculture. [34] 

Actually, 95 percent of the 56 million cubic meters of sewage Palestinian Arabs annually produce is not treated at all. In the last 15 years, only one sewage plant has been constructed in Judea and Samaria and international donors have provided $500 million for this purpose. [35]

One of the consequences of Arab refusal to work with Israel is that virtually all of the 52 mcm of waste water produced by the Palestinian Arab population runs untreated into Israel and Judea and Samaria, where it pollutes shared groundwater resources. Nonetheless, the Palestinian Arabs maintain that Israel is obstructing their waste water infrastructure. [36]

This is not by accident. A senior engineer at Israel's Water and Sewage Authority declared, “The Palestinian Authority has methodically committed a disgusting offense against us over a long period of time. Not only have they hindered the building of sewage treatment plants, but they've intentionally streamed massive flows of waste into Israel's streams and rivers." [37] 

Stone and marble quarries in Hevron are especially responsible for the high concentration of pollutants.  Serious damage has been caused as a result to Israeli sewage treatment plants and rivers in the Negev region and the ecosystem. About three million residents are affected by these dangerous environmental threats. [38]

"The lives of thousands of residents of Beer Sheva and surrounding towns have become insufferable due to the sewage that gushes out to the wadis and creates stagnant pools of water which turn into breeding grounds for particularly aggressive species of mosquitoes," said Mark Lautman, a spokesman for the Neve Noy neighborhood, which is located near the Beer Sheva Stream. [39].

The Palestinian Arabs refuse to ameliorate the situation even though the majority of their waste water treatment and reuse projects have received foreign funding and are supported by Israel. When  Colonel Avi Shalev of the Civil Administration and PWA officials met in November 2011 Shalev offered Israel’s help in financing water and waste water projects in Judea and Samaria, they didn’t respond.  [40]

They also rejected an Israeli proposal to construct a desalination plant in Hadera south of Haifa and pump the desalinated water to the northern West Bank because Israel would then be in an upstream position in the area. An additional reason concerned water rights; the Arabs claimed they were entitled to Mountain Aquifers. [41]

To further his anti-Israel campaign, while portraying the Palestinian Arabs as the victim, Attili had a Palestinian Water Authority team cease working on an Israeli desalination program claiming that Israel had demolished a number of illegal wells. The Joint Water Committee decided to destroy the wells because drilling reduced the amount of water produced by legal wells and damaged the main aquifers.  Several notices were sent to the PWA alerting them of their plan to implement the JWC decision, yet the PWA never responded.  It took four years for the Israelis destroy the illegal wells. [42]

Attilli’s strategy has worked. The international community is convinced that Israel is responsible for the protracted delay in water treatment plants in the Palestinian Arab areas. Even Abdelkarim Yakobi, the project manager in the department of water, transport and energy at the Office of the EU representative for the West Bank and Gaza, shares this view about Israel’s failure. [43]

Journalist Yochanan Visser, who exposed how water is now being used as a weapon against Israel, finds Yacobi’s criticism of Israel odd. If Burkart, a Swiss graduate student who interviewed Yakobi, gained access to the pertinent documents, why couldn’t the European Union, with vast means at its disposal, obtain the same information?  Had the EU bothered to perform its due diligence, the Palestinian Arabs would have been blamed, not the Israelis. [44]

Furthermore, the EU provided funds for at least seven waste water treatment plants. Wouldn’t the Europeans be expected to have some degree of transparency in the construction of these projects asks Visser. If they requested the right of oversight, did they insist on accountability from the PWA?  Without exposing the real truth about the PA‘s duplicity, the PA is free to continue using water as a weapon.

Instead of helping lessen tensions in this conflict, the international community adds fuel by enabling the Arabs to undermine Israel when they the ones who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. In the process of supporting the PA, the EU harms the interests of the Palestinian Arabs whom they really want to help. [45] 

The Oslo Accords inhibit the IDF, the Civil Administration and the Israeli Police from enforcing the law in Judea and Samaria against stealing water and illegal drilling of water Major General Eitan Dangot told the Knesset’s State Control Committee. [46] 

According to Monzer Shoblak, an official in Gaza's water authority, since 2006 "more than 10,000 wells have been dug. All these wells were dug without legal authorization, but without them may people would not have water throughout the day.” One Gaza resident claimed he had to pay 2,000 Jordanian Dinars ($2,820) to dig and preserve his well. [47] Numerous residents purchase bottled and filtered water at significant expense. [48] 

Shoblak added that approximately 95 percent of Gaza's water is contaminated. "The volume of nitrate in the water should not go above 50 milligrams per liter. In Gaza the levels are about 200-250 milligrams."  Chloride, should be held to 250 mg per liter, in some parts of Gaza it reaches 2,000 mg. [49] 

At a conference hosted by Tel Aviv's Eretz Israel Museum In January 2014, Israeli and Palestinian Arab environmental and water experts warned that the critical shortage of potable water in the Gaza Strip would soon lead to an increase in diseases and place Israel at risk as well. Professor Uri Shani, former head of the Water Authority and Israel’s representative in discussions with the Palestinian Arabs and Jordanians about the water crisis, said the international plan to construct a desalination plant in Gaza could not completed for a number of years and warned that another source of water is required now. [50]

At the end of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s military operation launched on July 8, 2014, the PA announced a three stage plan to resolve the water emergency in Gaza. This included distributing drinking water to homeless Gaza residents for six months, reconstructing damaged water networks and reservoirs and building water treatment and desalination plants. [51]

Despite the decision to solve the water emergency in Gaza, the problem still exists. The Jews are not to blame according to an investigation conducted by Al-Risalah, a Hamas newspaper that examined Jewish agricultural land in Gaza evacuated in the 2005 Disengagement Plan. Using figures supplied by the Hamas agricultural ministry, the paper concluded that excessive use of water for agriculture by local Arab farmers cause the water shortage.

Growing vegetables that consume large quantities of water, digging wells without supervision or control, and pumping excessive amounts water are the real sources for the scarcity of water. Before the Jews were expelled, there were no more than 20 wells in Gush Katif, and they were a kilometer from the coast in order to collect rain water. Average pumping from these wells was approximately 20-30 cubic meters per hour.

The number of wells has since tripled under the Arabs. The Arab agricultural unions operating in the former Jewish communities dug almost 30 more wells - in addition to the 16 dug by the municipality.

The average pumping from the union wells is between 60-120 cubic meters per hour, while the usual from municipality wells is between 60-70 cubic meters per hour, a clear indication how Gaza's water resources are being squandered and abused. [52]

Endnotes

[1] Seth M. Siegel, “Israeli Water, Mideast Peace?” The New York Times (February 16, 2014); Seth M.  Siegel, Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2015); David Hazony, “How Israel Is Solving the Global Water Crisis,” The Tower Magazine Issue 31 (October 2015); Daniel Pipes, “The Middle East Runs out of Water,” The Washington Times (May 8, 2015).

[2] Geoffrey R. Watson, The Oslo Accords: International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreements (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 301-302; Eyal Benvenisti and Haim Gvirtzman, “Harnessing International Law to Determine Israeli-Palestinian Water Rights: The Mountain Aquifer,” Natural Resource Journal Volume 33 (Summer 1993).

[3] Ibid; Karen Assaf, “Shared Groundwater Resources,” in Water Wisdom: Preparing the Groundwork for Cooperative and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East, Alon Tal and Alfred Abed Rabbo, Eds. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2010), 103-116.

[4] Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection (2002), 'Groundwater Quantity and Quality: 2001,' Israel. Environment Bulletin, (summer) 25(3): Vivian Futran, “Tackling water scarcity: Israel's wastewater recycling as a model for the world's arid lands,” Global Water Forum Discussion Paper 1311 (March 13, 2014).

[5] Alon Tal, “Seeking Sustainability: Israel's Evolving Water Management Strategy,” Science 25 Volume 313 number 5790 (August 25, 2006): 1081-1084; Futran, op.cit; “Tackling Israel's Water Crisis,” Israel Environment Bulletin Volume 35 (September 2009): 12-17.

[6] “Israel's Water Challenge,” Stratfor Global Intelligence (December 25, 2013).

[7] “Israel's desalination program averts future water crises,” Haaretz (May 31, 2014).

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid; Yuval Elizur, “Over and drought: Why the end of Israel's water shortage is a secret,” Haaretz   January 24, 2014.)

[11] Prof. Haim Gvirtzman, “The Truth Behind the Palestinian Water Libels,” BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 238 (February 24, 2014); Malcolm Lowe, “Palestinian Water (and Martin Schulz) The Lack of Logic,” Gatestone Institute (March 3, 2014); Ayman Rabi, “Water apartheid in Palestine - a crime against humanity?” Ecologist (March 22, 2014); Charlotte Silver, “How Israel Uses Water to Control Palestinian Life,” The Nation (July 24, 2015); Sari Bashi, Re “Israeli Water, Mideast Peace?” by Seth M. Siegel (Op-Ed, Feb. 17). The New York Times (February 18, 2014); Miriam Lowi, “Debunking some myths about Israel's water politics,” Aljazeera (March 10, 2014); “Acting the Landlord: Israel's Policy in Area C, the West Bank,” B’Tselem (June 2013) http://www.btselem.org/download/201306_area_c_report_eng.pdf; Jordan Valley Solidarity http://jordanvalleysolidarity.org/background-info/water-rights-in-the-jordan-valley/; Jordan Valley Solidarity NGO Monitor (May 1, 2014). http://www.ngo-monitor.org/ngos/jordan_valley_solidarity_/; http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=7&x_issue=12

[12] Malcolm Lowe, “Palestinian Water (and Martin Schulz) The Lack of Logic,” Gatestone Institute (March 3, 2014).

[13] Mitch Ginsburg, “Testing the waters: Did EU visitor get his numbers right?” The Times of Israel (February 13, 2014); Batsheva Sobelman, “Israeli minister storms out during speech by EU Parliament president,” The Los Angeles Times (February 12, 2014). 

[14]Shlomo Cesana and Dan Lavie, “Leftist figures did not set Schulz straight on facts,” Israel Hayom (February 14, 2014); Mitch Ginsburg, “Testing the waters: Did EU visitor get his numbers right?”The Times of Israel (February 13, 2014).

[15] Raphael Ahren, “Right-wing MKs walk out on EU parliament speaker,” The Times of Israel (February 12, 2014); “Full text of European Parliament president’s speech to Knesset,” The Times of Israel (February 12, 2014).

[16] Marissa Newman, “Netanyahu: EU Parliament head has ‘selective hearing,” The Times of Israel (February 12, 2014).

[17] Cesana and Lavie, op.cit. Among those at the event were Naomi Chazan, a former Meretz MK and deputy Knesset speaker, now a director in the left-wing NGO New Israel Fund; Yossi Beilin, former Meretz leader and cabinet minister and one of the originators of the Geneva Initiative; Ron Pundak, who assisted in drafting the Oslo Accords in 1993 and is a former director-general of the Peres Center for Peace; Akiva Eldar, former Haaretz correspondent, and Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee at the Council for Higher Education.

[18] Ibid.

[19] “Attili: Israeli settlers draining Palestinian water supply,” Ma'an News Agency (July 7, 2012).

[20] Ibid.

[21] Israel’s violations of the human right to water and sanitation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory NGO Submission to the UN Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review of the State of Israel, 15th Session of the UPR Working Group , 21 Jan 1 Feb, 2013 Submitted by Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) MA’AN Development Center.

[22]Ruth Pollard, “Gaza's children live and die on contaminated water,” EWASH (The Emergency Water and Sanitation-Hygiene Group) (June 23, 2012); Sharon Udasin, “Palestinian NGO accuses Israel of 'water apartheid,'” The Jerusalem Post (April 11, 2013); “Gaza Strip: 23 August 2010: Water supplied in Gaza unfit for drinking; Israel prevents entry of materials needed to repair system,” B’Tselem (August 23, 2010); Cecilia Rosen, “Water grabbing occurring at 'alarming rates,'” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (January 13, 2013).

[23]Visser, op.cit; Burkart’s thesis can be found at http://missingpeace.eu/en/wp-content/uploads-pmpeace1/2013/01/MT_Lauro-Burkart.pdf); Allon Tal and Yousef Abu-Mayla, “Gaza Need Not Be a Sewer,” The New York Times (December 2, 2013).

[24]Visser, op.cit.

[25] Lauro Burkart, “The Politicization of the Oslo Water Agreement,” an MA thesis in International History and Politics,” MA Thesis Graduate Institute of International and Development studies in Geneva (2012):74.

[26] Ibid.74 and 62.

[27] Ibid.39.

[28] Haim Gvirtzman, “The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective,” Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, (January 1, 2012.); “Factsheet: Water in the West Bank, The Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria (June12, 2012).

[29] Ibid.

[30] Gvirtzman, op.cit.

[31] Visser, op.cit.

[32] Haim Gvirtzman, “The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective,” Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, (January 1, 2012).

[33] Visser, op.cit.

[34]Gvirtzman, op.cit.

[35]. Gvirtzman, op.cit; Jeff Wheelwright, “In a Polluted Stream, a Pathway to Peace,” The New York Times (October 9, 2013).

[36] Visser, op.cit.

[37] Gadi Golan, Palestinian sewage polluting Israel's environment, Israel Hayom (July 20, 2011).

[38] Ibid.

[39] Ibid.

[40]. Visser, op.cit.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45]. Ibid; James Ronald Parks, “Equitable Apportionment and Groundwater in Israel and the West Bank,” The New Jurist (July 15, 2013).

[46] Maayana Miskin, “’Oslo Accords Make it Hard to Stop Illegal Water Drilling,’” Israel National News   December 11, 2013).

[47] “Gazans dig wells after ceasefire as water shortage bites,” Ma’an News Agency (September 4, 2014).

[48] Tal and Abu-Mayla, “Gaza Need Not Be a Sewer,” op.cit.

[49] “Gazans dig wells after ceasefire as water shortage bites,” op.cit.

[50] Zafrir Rinat, “In Gaza, water - and time - are running out,” Haaretz (January 28, 2014).

[51]. “PA to implement 3-stage plan to fix Gaza water crisis,” Ma’an News Agency (September 5, 2014).

[52] Dalit Halevy, “Hamas Admits Gazans Behind Water Crisis, Not Israel,” Israel National News (August 10, 2015).

Alex Grobman, a Hebrew University-trained historian, has written three new books on Israel: BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israel; Erosion: Undermining Israel through Lies and Deception; andCultivating Canaan: Who Owns the Holy Land?  





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