Maat Criticizes the Political Use of Water by the Israeli Occupation
Okeil: The Israeli occupation deprives Palestinians from exploiting their resources
Samira Abby: Israel violates international laws and conventions
Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, in cooperation with Partners for Transparency, made an intervention yesterday, during the discussion of item 7 of the work of the Human Rights Council, criticizing the Israeli policies that destroy the vital infrastructure of the Palestinians, including water supply pipes, sanitation systems and electricity grids and the destruction of water wells, posing a serious threat to the right to life. The intervention was made on the sidelines of the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council currently held in Geneva.
Ayman Okeil, President of Maat, stated that since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, the right to life of the Palestinian people has been violated through its policies and practices that aim to exploit the water resources and deny the Palestinians’ right to access to drinking water, extract other natural resources and access to their water resources in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Water has become a clear example of the systematic violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Okeil added that more than 96% of the coastal groundwater in Gaza, the main source of water, has become unusable; and natural and mineral wealth of the Dead Sea, part of which is located in Palestine, is exploited by Israel for its own benefit while denying Palestinians access to those resources.
Samira Abby, who made the intervention on behalf of the two organizations, said that the Israeli occupation sought the total destruction of natural resources in Palestine, especially water resources. However, the West Bank is located on three water basins, which are the main sources of water in Palestine, the Israeli occupying Power controls them and limits the Palestinians consumption to only 15% of the total water reserves, including springs inside the Palestinian territories. In addition to drying and seizing more than 300 natural springs and more than 500 wells, as well as those isolated behind the Separation Wall.
Finally, the intervention called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to stop exploiting, destroying, causing loss, depletion or endangering the natural resources of the Palestinian territories, while recognizing the right of the Palestinian people to claim compensation for the exploitation of their natural resources.
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