Tens of thousands of Palestinians have had their drinking water cut off during the month-long Ramadan holiday, according to Palestinian authorities.
The Israeli water supplier Mekorot has reduced the supply to Jenin and several villages around Nablus since earlier this week, affecting more than 40,000 people, according to Ragheb al-Haj Hassan, mayor of Jenin.
“This is a breach of the agreements between Mekorot and the Palestinians,” he said. Mekorot did not respond to a request for comment.
The cut-off comes at the start of summer, with temperatures in the West Bank projected to reach the mid-30s by next week. Many Palestinians fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan.
It was not immediately clear why the company had reduced the water supply.
Israeli firms supply many basic services to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and periodically cut them off due to unpaid bills; the Palestinian Authority owes more than $100 million to the Israeli electricity company. In 2014, a dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Authority left the 25,000 residents of Shuafat refugee camp without water for more than a month.
Palestinian villages have long received an unequal supply compared to nearby Israeli settlements. The latter consume an average of 183 litres per person per day but Palestinians use only 73 litres per person per day — less than the 100 litres recommended by the World Health Organisation — according to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group.
Summertime shortages are common, with authorities often forced to ration supplies and stage rolling cut-offs in different neighbourhoods.
More than 100,000 Palestinians live in villages without connections to the grid, forcing them to make do with rainwater or expensive supplies brought in by truck.
This report by Gregg Carlstrom originated from The Times.
[JMedia: Note the typo in the title of this article from The Australian, which might suggest the amount of thought that goes into publishing a article like this. Furthermore the article makes no mention of the fact that the water shortage arose from a problem with a water distribution pipe as has been reported by Al Jazeera.
It remains to be seen if The Australian rectifies this article but whatever happens suggests there are some pro-Palestinian desk editors out there pretty quick and willing to disseminate pro-Palestinian propaganda.