Israel nabs Palestinian water pirates

Sunday, June 27, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli soldiers last week spotted a group of four Palestinian Arabs illegally tapping into the Mekorot National Water Carrier pipeline south of the Judean town of Hebron. The soldiers captured two of the perpetrators.

Mekorot officials said the issue of Palestinian water piracy has become very serious of late, with Arab residents of Judea and Samaria siphoning off 10 million cubic meters of water every year.

"Water theft from Israeli pipes costs the State millions of shekels every year," a Mekorot official told Ynet.

Local Jewish residents said Palestinians so often drill into the water pipeline that most mornings they wake up to find they cannot bathe their children or even make coffee.

Most of the water in the Mekorot line comes from the Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest fresh water reservoir. Israel is already suffering from a severe water shortage.

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