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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Commission
31 January 2004

Lebanon/Israel Wazzani springs dispute : Rapid Reaction Mechanism - End of programme report

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The Commission sent an expert team under the Rapid Reaction Mechanism to Lebanon and Israel in October 2002 as part of a concerted international response to rising tensions between Israel and Lebanon over the construction of a pumping station at the Wazzani springs. The team was sent in response to an appeal by the Lebanon and the UN for assistance in resolving the dispute. It was tasked with providing an objective assessment of the technical data upon which a mediated settlement of the dispute could be built.

The Wazzani springs rise in Lebanon close to the Blue Line. Their waters feed the Hasbani river - a tributary of the Jordan, one of Israel’s main water sources. Israel reacted strongly to the construction of the pumping station without prior consultation, while Hezbollah threatened retaliation to any Israeli attack on the plant.

The study team (to which the French authorities seconded an expert at the request of the Commission) delivered its report in July 2003. It provides a technical overview of the water resources of the whole Hasbani basin. The study also identifies the parameters affecting future development of the water resources in the basin. In the absence of an agreed framework for mediation of the dispute the report has not yet been released, though Israel, Lebanon, the US and the UN have been briefed on its key findings. The report has been delivered to the EU Special Representative on the Middle East Peace Process who is expected to raise the issue on his forthcoming tours to the region.

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