MembersWater: Who’s Really Stealing It?

The Palestinians claim that Israel is stealing their water. It’s a charge that’s made every year, sometimes garnering international media attention and sometimes not.

By Ryan Jones |
Photo: Samaria Council

Under the 1993 peace agreement known as the Oslo Accords, Israel is obligated to provide the Palestinian Authority with 29 million cubic meters (MCM) of water per year. A survey conducted by NGO Monitor last year found that Israel is in fact providing nearly twice that (57 MCM).


The survey further revealed that Israel delivers all that water to the Palestinians at a financial loss. It costs Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, 4.16 shekels ($1.08) to provide one cubic meter of water. Israel only charges the Palestinians 2.85 shekels per cubic meter, compared to the 8.89 shekels per cubic meter paid by Israelis. In other words, average Israelis are effectively subsidizing Palestinian water consumption.


But that, apparently, is not good enough, and the Palestinians continue to steal additional millions of cubic meters of water by illegally tapping the main Mekorot pipelines. Several years ago, Israeli authorities confiscated 30,000 miles of piping that had been used to steal water. And officials estimated that was...

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