Australian water companies' link to Israeli company stealing West Bank water

Sat 08 Aug 2009 - By Anonymous
On Friday 7 August three 3 coaches of Israeli peace workers went on a water convoy to the Palestinian village Qarawat Bani Zayid near Ramallah. In the hot August heat, this village and five others have been suffering from severe and prolonged water shortages. This hasn't been caused by drought - but by Israeli political interference.

In the West Bank, the Israeli state owned water company, Mekorot, controls almost all of Palestine's water supply. Whilst Mekorot supplies approx 253 liters of water per person per day to West Bank settlers, Palestinians are allotted just 48 liters per person per day. This is one-fifth of what Israelis receive. This paltry ration is to cover everything from drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes, to irrigating agricultural land. When it's used, the villagers’ taps run dry.

Australian local government has trade ties to Mekorot. In 2006, both Perth Water and Sydney Water signed research agreements with Mekorot to share technical information. Koor Inter Trade in New South Wales is Mekorot's representative in Australia. If anyone would like to ask local government why Sydney Water and Perth Water are co-operating with Mekorot, I'm sure the thirsty people of the West Bank would appreciate it.

Perhaps they don’t know that the Geneva Conventions forbid an occupying power to control or steal natural resources. That Mekorot diverts 80% of the West Bank's ground water to Israeli citizens. That Palestinians have to buy the remaining 20% from Mekorot at exorbitant prices. That Mekorot prevents Palestinians from digging their own water wells so it can maintain its monopoly. That settlers receive subsidized water at high enough quantities that they can top up their swimming pools in the Summer.

When we arrived in Bani Zayid, the village council had organized a big party for us. Two large water tankers were supplied and everyone handed out bottled water. One little Palestinian boy was a little confused and with a big smile on his face, started handing water bottles back to the peace workers! The villagers called for more joint actions with Israelis and welcomed us warmly, with the joyful hospitality we have come to love.

Pictures at