Israel is often blamed for all woes befalling the Palestinian Arabs. One of the favorite accusations is that Israel takes most of the region’s water for its Jewish citizens, while leaving the Arabs with far too little of this precious resource.
But a Hamas-run newspaper recently featured an investigative report revealing that the water crisis in Gaza, at least, cannot be blamed on the Jewish state, after all.
In surveying the agricultural lands abandoned in the wake of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, the Al-Risalah newspaper found that today’s Palestinian farmers were using up to six times more water than the previous Jewish tenants.
In the areas encompassing the former Gaza Jewish communities, a total of 20 wells had been dug up until 2005 to tap into the area’s water table. These wells pumped an average of 20–30 cubic meters of water per hour for use by the Jewish farmers and their villages.
The Hamas publication reported that there are now, since the departure of the Jews, no fewer than 110 wells in the area pumping anywhere between 120–200 cubic meters of water per hour.
Considering these figures, is it any wonder Gaza’s water table is in serious danger of becoming unusable?
PHOTO: A Palestinian child seeks fresh drinking water.