|In Area C, Israel has retained full control over security and while responsibility for the provision of services falls to the PA, according to EWASH. |
But the Palestinian Water Authority says it has very limited control over water resources in the West Bank.
Rights body Amnesty International accuses Israel of denying Palestinians the right to access sufficient water supplies in the West Bank by maintaining total control over the shared water resources and preventing the development of adequate water infrastructure there.
The Mountain Aquifer is the only source of water for Palestinians in the West Bank, but one of several for Israel, which also has sole access to water available from the Jordan river.
Limited supplies, inflated prices
“Israel uses more than 80 percent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 percent,” said Amnesty.
This is no clearer than to the more than 100 Bedouin families living in the water-stressed village of Ras al-Awja near Jericho in Area C. While they are forced to pay inflated prices for tanker water from the nearest filling point some 7km away, nearby unlawful Israeli settlements have irrigated gardens and productive farmland, according to EWASH.
A water filling point that once served the Bedouin community has been welded shut by the Israeli authorities, causing a canal irrigation system to empty and stopping all piped water to Palestinians in the area. Without ample supplies of water, the existence of this livestock and subsistence farming-dependent community is under threat.