JENIN: Israeli Company Cuts Off Water to West Bank over Ramadan
Israel’s state-run water company shut off water to tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to reports Wednesday.
About 40,000 residents of Jenin have had their water supply reduced by half, and some areas of the West Bank haven’t seen water for more than 40 days, Ayman Rabi, executive director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera. Neighboring towns, including in Nablus, have also been cut off for the past week.
Some towns have started rationing water, he said, and Jenin residents have had to rely on 2 to 10 liters a day. People need a minimum of 7.5 liters per day, according to the U.N., but areas of Palestine can reach scorching temperatures that require more.
Israel has controlled water supply to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 1967 and has already come under fire for “water apartheid.” Palestinians are estimated to receive about six times less the supply of Israelis.
“Water cuts are becoming routine, but in the past they used to alert us. Now, the Palestinians are being kept in the dark,” Ragheb al-Haj Hassan, mayor of Jenin, told Gulf News. He said that he notified the Palestinian Water Authority, which will which seek action against Mekorot, the Israeli water company.
An Israeli government spokesperson said that there is “no truth” to the accusations, which could be explained by broken water lines, reported The Independent.
In the meantime, families are relying on water tanks, springs and water trucks to meet their needs. Israel began a series of measures in collective punishment against Palestinians after a deadly Tel Aviv shooting last week, including suspending entry permits for tens of thousands during Ramadan.