Israel blasts Amesty's unfounded accustion of 'water theft'

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel's Water authority on Monday blasted Amnesty International for failing to allow it to comment on or correct figures presented in an Amnesty report on water usage between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs that was released on Tuesday.

The Amnesty report, built entirely on the testimonies of Palestinian individuals, accuses Israel of using far more water than the Palestinians and thereby violating their human rights. To drive home the point, the report included pictures of Israeli settlements with green lawns and swimming pools beside photos of empty and contaminated Palestinian cisterns.

For example, the report claims that Israelis use 408 liters of water per day while the Palestinians only use 70 liters per day, much less than the 100 liters recommended by the World Health Organization.

But the Water Authority said that according to its figures, which Amnesty refused to include in its report, the Palestinians in fact use 200 liters of fresh water per day.

On top of that, Water Authority officials noted that the Palestinians regularly violate their agreements with Israel by digging illegal water wells that are resulting in the overuse of the mountain aquifer, one of only three sources of fresh water in the area.

The Palestinians also refuse to purify and recycle their waste for agricultural use, as Israelis do, and instead dump their waste in local streams, which ends up contaminating the ground water.

None of these facts were included in the Amnesty report.

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