water is for settlers

al-haq  ewash

Israel’s violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
with regard to the human rights to water and sanitation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

September 2011


Affidavit No. 6371/2011
Sworn Statement
After swearing to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, I, the undersigned, Sami Sadeq Mahmoud Sbeih, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No.919063842, born on 21 July 1955, a resident of al-'Aqaba, Tubas governorate, and the president of its village council, would like to declare the following:
Aqaba village is located in the al-Aghwar area (The Jordan Valley) and specifically in its northern part within the boundaries of Tubas governorate. The village is inhabited by 300 residents and contains 45 houses. It also has several organizations and institutions such as al-Haq Kindergarten – holds 130 boys and girls from al-'Aqaba and nearby communities, al-Amal Clinic, Salah al-Din al-Ayoubi Mosque, al-'Aqaba Unisex Primary School – holds about 80 students, Rural Women's Association, al-'Aqaba Cooperative Agricultural Association, al-'Aqaba Cooperative Association for the housing of immigrants, al'Aqaba Hope and Unity Club and a sewing factory belonging to the village and its residents.

The lack of a water sources is a problem we suffer from in Al-'Aqaba, both residents and institutions. The village lacks a water network system as well as water storage tanks, due to the Israeli prohibitions. While the Israel occupation refuses to allow Al-'Aqaba residents to implement a water network system, pipelines belonging to Israel‟s national water company “Mekorot” are laid as close as seven kilometers away, supplying water to Israeli settlements and military bases of al-Aghwar area. Additionally, Israel prohibits Al-'Aqaba residents from digging any artesian wells for a water supply, which has forced village households and institutions alike to purchase tanker water from nearby localities such as al-Far'a and Tammun. Each household or institution purchases this water which costs about 150-200 NIS(72) per tanker, an amount required almost on a weekly basis. While the price of tanker water is about 15-20 NIS per cubic meter, water though Mekorot's network costs less than one NIS for the same amount. Israel's insistence on denying us access to water from Mekorot's network is causing Al-'Aqaba residents large monthly expenses. Due to those expenses, a number of Al-'Aqaba residents working in agriculture and raising livestock were forced to abandon their jobs.
In the past, Al-'Aqaba village had an agricultural pool, which was destroyed by Israel in 1999 under the excuse of lacking a permit. The pool was a main source of irrigation water and could hold up to 300 cubic meters (...), thus its destruction largely affected the agricultural sector in the village. The Israeli occupation authorities also handed Al-'Aqaba village council a warning to demolish another agricultural pool built in the past two years. The pool is currently under the threat of demolition. Work on the pool began in 2009 and that same year the Israeli warning was issued. This indicates that the occupation authorities are keeping a close watch on Al-'Aqaba residents and insuring they are deprived of their basic right to access drinking water. It is worth mentioning that this area is largely dependent on agriculture and raising livestock, which is made difficult by water insufficiency. These Israeli policies, in the Jordan Valley and Al-'Aqaba specifically, have caused Palestinians to suffer from severe water shortage. Tanker trucks are constantly moving in and out of the village selling water to its residents. As the summer season is now approaching, the water shortage crisis in the village will further worsen. All this is due to Israel depriving Palestinians of their basic right to dig artesian wells and construct a water network to serve their community. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers in the Jordan Valley are supplied with an abundant amount of water that surpasses their needs.
This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 31 May 2011
Signature: Sami Sbeih
Name not withheld
Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud

(72) NIS: New Israeli Shekel


From http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/docs/ngos/EWASH-Al-Haq_Israel_CESCR47.pdf