Civil Administration to crack down on Arab water theft

Civil Administration head announces crackdown on water theft by residents of Arab village in Jordan Valley.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

A Mekorot water pipe
A Mekorot water pipe

The head of the Civil Administration, Brig. Gen. Ahvat Ben Hur, issued a warning to the Arab residents of the village of Bardala that the Civil Administration and the Water Authority has launched an extensive enforcement operation to locate water thefts and to cut off illegal water connections to the village.

The operation began following the theft of water by residents of the village, which affects all residents of the Jordan Valley. Water meant for Jewish farmers is siphoned off in the village, but Arab farmers suffer as well.

"The villages of Bardala, Kardala and Ein Elbica receive 12,000 cubic meters of water from the Israeli side every day, of which 11,200 cubic meters a day are illegally stolen by Bardala residents," wrote Brig. Gen. Ben Hur.

""The meaning of this is that the villagers' water is stolen by no one other than the Palestinian residents themselves! The Civil Administration has begun a large-scale operation to combat this grave phenomenon.

The Civil Administration, in the year since Brig. Gen. Ben Hur assumed command, has formulated a long term plan, in cooperation with the Water Authority, which will provide a solution for all the residents. of the area and will include the expansion of water infrastructure and the operation of new wells.

Within the framework of the plan, the Civil Administration approved the immediate operation of the Ariel, Jericho 5 and Booster water wells, which constitute an additional 19,000 cubic meters of water per day for the residents of Judea and Samaria. In addition, the Civil Administration is promoting additional solutions in the field, which are expected to be implemented before the summer.

Sources in the Civil Administration say that the phenomenon of water thefts by residents of Bardala village significantly harms Israeli and Arab residents, and enforcement is expected to prevent thefts, which currently sit at 2.6 million cubic meters of water annually.

Yehuda Reines, an Israei farmer in the Jordan Valley, told Arutz Sheva that as a result of the illegal water siphoning, many Jewish farms in the northern valley area were without water last week, leaving thousands of acres completely dry.