MYTH: Israelis Steal Water From The Palestinian-Arabs

The Sea of Galilee in Northern Israel is a key supplier of water for Israelis and Palestinian-Arabs (Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons, Nemo).

FACT: When it comes to water, the Palestinian Authority (PA) shortchanges its own people – sometimes deliberately. The following are examples of the Palestinian-Arab leadership’s abuses of the water issue:

  • Since 2000, the Palestinian Water Authority has submitted 76 permit requests to Israel for drilling water, 73 of which were approved. The PA, however, has not implemented two-thirds of the requests. Instead, the PA illegally drills more than 300 unauthorized wells, including in the Western Mountain Aquifer that provides water to Israelis.
  • The Palestinian-Arabs steal Israel’s water by drilling illegal holes into Israel’s water lines. Israel has to repair around 600 of these illegal taps each year. When Israel asks to work with the PA to prevent theft through joint water patrols, the PA refuses every time.
  • While the PA chastises Israel for water shortage, it does not even use all of its own water. In 2007, out of the 200 million cubic centimeters (cc) of water to which the PA had access, it wasted 20 million cc of it.
  • The PA acts irresponsibly with its water usage. It wastes roughly 33 percent of its water on leaks, theft, and lack of upkeep. Farmers use outdated water practices, overwatering and losing water because of mismanagement.
  • The PA is not developing new sewage or desalinization plants – a violation of the Oslo Accords it signed with Israel in 1993. The PA has only built one sewage plant in the past 15 years. A horrifying 95 percent of its sewage goes untreated, contaminating the same water sources that lead into Israel.
  • In 2009, the PA blamed its water problems on lack of funds. Israel then offered to help finance water development projects, but the PA never responded.

The Palestinian-Arabs’ water negligence is so extreme it is suspect. The international community offered to build a desalination plant in Gaza – an offer that was flat-out refused. The desalination plant would have solved Gaza’s water tragedy, but Hamas (the terror group that controls Gaza) decided to refuse any help and instead tried to smear Israel in the international community for allegedly denying water to Gazans. Similarly, if the PA would choose to implement its permits for legal water drilling (instead of neglecting its people to blame Israel for its shortages), its water situation would drastically improve.

Overall, the Palestinian-Arab leadership chooses smearing Israel over the health of its own people.