The Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) has said that the Israeli occupation of reducing the water supply to the West Bank cities of Hebron and Bethlehem by 6,000 cups per day, leaving thousands of Palestinians without enough water in the scorching summer heat.
The PWA said in a statement on Saturday that the Israeli national water company Mekorot had no technical justification for the move, which it called “racist” and “discriminatory”.
“This is part of the racist policies practiced by the occupation authorities against the Palestinian people,” the PWA said, according to the official Wafa news agency.
The Israeli occupation controls most of the water resources in the occupied West Bank, where it has built hundreds of illegal settlements that enjoy uninterrupted water supplies, while Palestinians face severe shortages and droughts.
According to the Israeli human rights group B’tselem, Israelis consume three times more water than Palestinians, who often have to rely on expensive water tankers or polluted wells.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 100 litres of water per person per day, but Palestinians in the West Bank only have access to an average of 82.4 litres, B’tselem said in a report in May.
The report also said that only 36 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank receive running water every day, while the rest have to cope with irregular and insufficient supplies.
The PWA urged the international community to intervene and pressure Israel to stop its “violations” of Palestinian water rights and to respect its obligations under international law.