Faizel Patel, 2016-06-15
Israel’s national water company Mekorot has cut water supplies to the West Bank during Ramadan in a move dubbed “water apartheid,” leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without water for safe consumption.
The state-run water company shut the valves of the lines for water supplies to the municipality of Jenin, several Nablus villages and the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.
Israel has sanctioned water available to Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ever since Israel's occupation of the areas, which started in 1967.
Ayman Rabi, the executive director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that in some areas people had not received water for more than 40 days.
"People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity. Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litres per capita per day.”
The city of Jenin, which has a population of more than 40,000 people, said its water supplies had been cut by half, and warned that it would hold Mekorot solely responsible for any tragedies resulting from water shortages during the hot summer months.
According to the UN, 7.5 litres per person per day is the minimum requirement for most people under most conditions but in some areas of Palestine - where temperatures exceed 35C - the minimum requirement is much higher.
Israelis, including settlers, consume five times more water than Palestinians in the West Bank, 350 litres per person per day in Israel compared with 60 litres per Palestinian per day in the West Bank.