JERUSALEM – The drought in the Middle East continues to define tensions between Israel and Palestine. While World Health Organization statistics show that Palestinians consume three times less water than their Israeli neighbors, Palestinians also access only one-third of the WHO’s recommended daily amount.
According to the BBC, the issue is control. Israel needs water for its economically critical agriculture sector. Shaddad Attili, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, points out that a significant source of water — the Mountain Aquifer — exists primarily beneath Palestinian territory, but is currently under Israel’s control.
He declares ironically that he is “the minister for “virtual” water.” To access any of the aquifer’s supply, the minister must have Israel’s permission. While Israeli’s living in settlements in the West Bank have access to running water, this is a privilege few Palestinians in the same area enjoy.
Read more here.