we – the Palestinians – cannot receive a single drop

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

 

I had been using the spring waters for crop irrigation since 2007 (...). The occupation forces tore up my pipeline and damaged it completely, leaving me with no water resource to irrigate my land. (...) I was then left with no option but to resort to buying tanker water from Ein al-Bayda and Bardala costing about 21 NIS71 per cubic meter. This was very expensive, considering that the spring water I used to use cost me very little.
Gradually when my expenditure on irrigation increased and I could not afford farming anymore, I was forced to abandon my land. Thus, we were stripped of our family's main source of income, despite Mekorot's water pipeline systems passing right through my land to supply settlements such as Rotem and Shilo among many others. The Israeli occupation refuses to allow al-Aghwar's Palestinian farmers from extending any water lines from the pipes running through our own agricultural lands. (...) Israel's policies of depriving farmers from utilizing water resources for irrigational purposes has already forced many in al-Aghwar to abandon their agricultural lands. If these violations and practices continue, there will be no more farmers in al-Aghwar and agricultural lands will turn barren. Imagine how settlement pipelines pass right through our lands, but we – the Palestinians – cannot receive a single drop.


September 2011


VII. ANNEX: AFFIDAVITS
Affidavit No. 6370/2011
Sworn Statement
After swearing to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, I, the undersigned, Fayeq Ahmad Abdel-Rahman Sbeih, of Palestinian nationality, holder of ID No. 919063644, born on 12 January 1959, a Farmer, and a resident of Ein al-Bayda‟ village, Jericho and al-Aghwar governorate, would like to declare the following:
I own 43 Donums of agricultural land in al-Aghwar Area (Jordan Valley), specifically in Wadi al-Maleh, an area that includes Palestinian communities such as Ein al-Hilwa, Ein al-Bayda‟, al-Farisiya, Makhoul and al-Himmah. I work in agricultural production and at the beginning of 2011. I set up green houses on 6 Donums of my aforementioned land, where I cultivated tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and a variety of other vegetables.

Two kilometers away from the green houses lies a spring known as “Ein al-Shak” that I depended on for irrigation. The spring is a natural resource and does not belong to anyone, for that reason I took the courtesy of extending a water pipeline to my land to irrigate my crops. Things were going well, until, without any prior warning, the Israeli occupation disconnected and confiscated my pipeline. This action, which caught me off guard, happened at the beginning of March 2011. When I heard that an Israeli military force was present near the spring and that soldiers were damaging my pipeline, I immediately went there. Upon arrival, I argued with Israeli military officers and officials from the Israeli national water company “Mekorot”. Without offering any explanation, they informed me that I was not allowed to use the waters of the aforementioned spring. I kept insisting that the occupation had no jurisdiction over the spring and that this natural resource had been available to all people for decades.
I had been using the spring waters for crop irrigation since 2007 and had never been interrupted by restrictions or any acts of vandalism. The occupation forces tore up my pipeline and damaged it completely, leaving me with no water resource to irrigate my land. I was forced to search for a new resource in al-Aghwar area, which is known for its abundance in water resources especially in Wadi al-Maleh, but was unsuccessful due to continued Israeli harassment. I was then left with no option but to resort to buying tanker water from Ein al-Bayda and Bardala costing about 21 NIS71 per cubic meter. This was very expensive, considering that the spring water I used to use cost me very little.
Gradually when my expenditure on irrigation increased and I could not afford farming anymore, I was forced to abandon my land. Thus, we were stripped of our family's main source of income, despite Mekorot's water pipeline systems passing right through my land to supply settlements such as Rotem and Shilo among many others. The Israeli occupation refuses to allow al-Aghwar's Palestinian farmers from extending any water lines from the pipes running through our own agricultural lands. This is a reality that all farmers in the area suffer from. Israel's policies of depriving farmers from utilizing water resources for irrigational purposes has already forced many in al-Aghwar to abandon their agricultural lands. If these violations and practices continue, there will be no more farmers in al-Aghwar and agricultural lands will turn barren. Imagine how settlement pipelines pass right through our lands, but we – the Palestinians – cannot receive a single drop.
This is my declaration and hereby I sign, 31 May 2011
Signature: Fayeq Sbeih
Name not withheld
Field researcher: Tareq al-Haj Mahmoud

 

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

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