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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mekorot’

Official: Water Crisis in Samaria Caused by Arabs Stealing 400 Million Gallons a Year

Friday, July 1st, 2016

On Thursday, during an emergency meeting on water shortages in Samaria in the office of Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi), it was revealed that systematic water theft by Arabs, as well as dereliction of duty on the part of the Israeli water authorities, are to blame for the current crisis.

Over the past two weeks or so, the Jewish communities of eastern Samaria—Karney Shomron, Ariel, Kdumim—have been under emergency water procedure. These communities, with roughly 60,000 residents, experience interruption of their water service every few days, and it has been presumed that the shortages are due to the failure of the water authority to expand its infrastructure to match the Jewish and Arab population growth in Samaria.

On Monday, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) ordered Knesset Finance Committee management to freeze debates over budgets intended for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), including freezing its budget of about $20 million until the water crisis in Samaria is resolved.

Also on Monday, Yesha Council heads met with Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and presented alarming data on the absence of long-term infrastructure planning by the various government ministries throughout Judea and Samaria. Steinitz promised to take over the coordination of the different entities, including the Water Authority and the national water utility Mekorot.

The Thursday night meeting in Ben-Dahan’s office on the water shortage in Judea and Samaria (most acutely in Samaria) included representatives of COGAT, the Civil Administration, and the water Authority. During the meeting, Ben-Dahan stated that “for many years there has been neglect of everything having to do with the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, which resulted in the absence of promoting master plans to develop the water resources in the area. Unfortunately, none of the entities involved has been properly prepared to deal with the growth in both the Jewish and Palestinian populations, as well as the growth in agricultural land which require a great deal of water.”

“In addition,” Ben-Dahan stated, “there’s the phenomenon of water theft by the Palestinians in the amount of 5,000 cubic meters of water daily, a factor in the shortage of water.”

To illustrate, 5,000 cubic meters is the equivalent of 1,100,000 gallons a day. Over one year, water theft by Arabs in Judea and Samaria reaches a staggering 401,500,000 gallons.

The debate in Ben-Dahan’s office, reported by Srugim, resulted in short- and long-term solutions. Over the next few days there will be a regular rotation of 15 water trucks that will refill the reservoirs in communities where they have dried out. In addition, the entities involved will examine the possibility of constructing 27 above-ground pools to provide for locations where the crisis has been particularly acute. Existing pumping stations which have been left in disrepair in Ariel and additional locations will be repaired speedily.

In coming weeks, both Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan and Minister Steinitz will meet to plan the promotion of a master plan for the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

Interestingly, not one word was said about ways of preventing the flagrant theft of water by Arabs.

Meanwhile, on the Palestinian Authority side, the responsibility for the shortage is being placed squarely on Israel. In mid June, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel was “waging a water war against the Palestinians. Israel wants to prevent Palestinians from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end; while illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service, Palestinians are forced to spend great sums of money to buy water that is theirs in the first place.”

Ayman Rabi, executive director of the NGO Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera that “some areas had not received any water for more than 40 days. People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity. Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litters per capita per day.”

Mekorot denied cutting the water supplies, but admitted there was a reduction in water supply “as a result of the shortage of water supply.”

“We have made a broad reduction of the supply to all residents in the area,” Mekorot told Al Jazeera. “All the facilities are working and the capability to supply is less than the rate of consumption. The water authority recently approved a master plan for the water sector and accordingly we will build the systems that will meet the West Bank’s required consumption.”

Now, if only Mekorot had told Ministers Ben-Dahan and Steinitz about this new master plan, it would have saved everybody a lot of time.

JNi.Media

Water Crisis in Samaria Hits Jewish and Arab Residents Alike

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Samaria (TPS) – Amid the intense heat wave in Israel, the water crisis plaguing Samaria is taking an unprecedented toll as residents and community leaders scramble to find solutions for the water scarcity. To date, eight settlement communities have experienced water shortages and three have had no water at all last week.

“We’ve been saving water, not wasting a drop,” said Rachel Shalev of Elon Moreh, a community with over 1,600 people located in Samaria, northeast of Nablus. “We were told to limit the amount of water we are using. In my neighborhood there is water but there are other parts of the community where the running water isn’t working.”

“On Shabbat, at the synagogue, people were wondering if they’d have to go back to drawing water from a well.”

“Every moment that we have water, I thank God,” Shalev said. “But I’m not doing any laundry for now or taking any chances.”

In some cases, emergency water tanks as well as water bottles have been delivered at special water stations set up in settlement communities like Kedumim and Eli.

“We knew this was coming but we never expected the water issue to be this severe,” said Yisrael Ganz, deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council to Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “We are at the height of this water crisis, which has left residents unable to maintain a normal way of life at this time.”

Arab residents of the region have been severely affected as well. Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, sent a letter to the government of Israel claiming that Mekorot, the Israeli water company, has significantly reduced the amount of water that it supplies to the region since early June 2016.

Adalah provided TPS with the text that its lawyer, Muna Haddad, wrote to Israeli authorities.

“The reduction in water amounts and pressure prevents the filling of holding reservoirs in the Palestinian communities. As a result, in some of the communities, including the villages of Salfit, Azmut, Salem and Dir Al-Hatab in the northern West Bank, water flow to residential homes has been almost completely cut for more than two weeks,” Haddad wrote.

“The cuts have also caused factory shutdowns, damage to gardens and agricultural lands, and the deaths of livestock due to dehydration. The situation, exacerbated by a period of heavy heat over the past several weeks that is expected to continue through the summer months, is causing significant harm to West Bank residents,” Haddad added.

According to Oded Revivi, the mayor of Efrat and a Yesha Council representative, the reasons for the water shortage are varied and are sometimes influenced by ideological motives. “There is no dispute that both Jews and Arabs in Judea and Samaria are suffering from a shortage of water during these hot summer days,” he commented to TPS.

“The people behind the Oslo Accords foresaw this situation and drew guidelines to prevent specifically such a crisis,” he explained. “Unfortunately, the funds of the European community dedicated to this purpose did not reach its objective.”

Revivi believes that the only way to overcome the situation at the moment is to understand that money must be invested in the proper infrastructure so that drinking water can be provided for both populations.

“At the end of the day, it is the Jews and Arabs who live in this region that need to set rules and come up with a working system that will benefit both sides so that they can live side by side in a peaceful and beneficial co-existence,” he concluded.

A water "shlucker" bag

A huge water “shlucker” bag

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Israel Summons Dutch Ambassador over Divestments in his Country

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

For the second time in less than a month, Israel demanded clarifications from the Netherlands on Dutch firms’ divestment from Israel.

On Friday, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Dutch ambassador to Israel, Caspar Veldkamp, to provide clarifications on the decision of PGGM, a large pensions administrator, to divest from five Israeli banks because of their activities in West Bank settlements.

During the meeting between Veldkamp and Raphael Schutz, the ministry’s deputy director general on European affairs, Schutz told the ambassador that PGGM’s decision is “unacceptable and relies on false pretense,” according to a statement by the ministry.

Israel expected the Netherlands “in the spirit of friendship between our countries, to take an unequivocal stance against such steps, which only wreak damage to the relations,” the statement read.

On Dec. 12, the ministry summoned Kamp to a meeting after a decision by the Dutch water company Vitens to pull the plug on joint projects with Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, because of its operations in what the Netherlands considers occupied territory.

On Thursday, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said that while the Netherlands is opposed to a boycott of Israel, its policy is to discourage Dutch businesses from conducting business with Israeli settlements.

Kees van der Staaij, a pro-Israel lawmaker, said he would seek clarifications from the minister on what van der Staaij termed “a boycott atmosphere.”

On its website, the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, one of the country’s main pro-Israel groups, said that the “unclear policy of discouragement is threatening to turn into a boycott of Israel.”

JTA

Israel Transfers Water Pumps to Gaza to Alleviate Flooding

Monday, December 16th, 2013

On Sunday night, Israel water company, Mekorot—with which the national Dutch water company just cut off relations for its “violations of international law”—sent special pumps to Gaza in order to deal with the devastating flooding, the IDF Spokesperson tweeted.

According to Ma’an, Israel has been pumping industrial diesel donated by Qatar into the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning. The move is part of a temporary agreement to ease the blockade following days of record flooding that has devastated the besieged coastal enclave.

Raed Fattouh, president of a committee that coordinates the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip, told Ma’an that 450,000 liters of diesel donated by Qatar was being shipped to the coastal enclave via the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday.

On Friday, Qatari authorities announced the donation of $10 million to Hamas in Gaza in the wake of the humanitarian crisis caused by severe weather. The donation was given to the Palestinian Authority, to purchase diesel fuel from Israel, and on Sunday the first shipment of diesel fuel began arriving at Gaza’s power plant.

Fattouh added that as a result of an agreement, the Kerem Shalom crossing will temporarily operate for 12 hours a day in order to allow increased quantities of gasoline, domestic-use diesel, and gas to enter the Gaza Strip.

The extended hours began on Sunday and will continue for the next week.

Photo By Emad Nassar/Flash90

Photo By Emad Nassar/Flash90

Members of the Palestinian civil defense evacuated people from their houses that were flooded with icy rain water in Gaza City. In some neighborhoods, the rain mixed with raw sewage which had been flooding streets for several weeks now.

More than 30 people have been injured in car crashes in Gaza, and as a result of poorly built homes collapsing in the rain.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-transfers-water-pumps-to-gaza-to-alleviate-flooding/2013/12/16/

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