The US government on Sunday launched a $10 million wastewater treatment project farmers in Jericho in the Palestinian Authority. President Donald Trump’s peace envoy Jason Greenblatt was on hand at the launching. Greenblatt’s approach to reaching peace between Israel and the PA is that the better off the PA residents are economically, the better the chances that they would support a long-term peace deal with Israel.
According to the US consulate in Jerusalem, the Jericho project will increase by about 10,000 the number of homes connected to the local wastewater treatment plant, which was built with Japanese assistance. The outcome will see 70% of Jericho homes connected to the water treatment system, eventually resulting in recycled wastewater becoming available to local Arab date farmers.
US Consul General Donald Blome said at the launch that “every drop of water produced by this facility is reused by local farms. I met today with farmers whose lives have been transformed thanks to access to high quality water coming from this Jericho plant. These thriving rows of date palms create jobs and bring revenue to Palestinian families.”
Palestinian Water Authority chairman Mazen Ghunaim said that the new project “will have a positive and direct impact on creating jobs and economic growth.”
According to a US press release, “since 2000, USAID has invested more than $450 million toward water and wastewater projects in the West Bank and Gaza. This includes connecting 153,500 Palestinians to running water for the first time and providing improved access to clean water to more than 1.4 million people. These investments advance the United States’ commitment to developing wastewater solutions to improve the daily lives of Palestinians and enhance the prospects for lasting peace.”