Since 1967, Israel has drastically limited the amount of water flowing to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israelis, including settlers, consume five times more water than Palestinians in the West Bank, 350 liters per person per day in Israel compared with 60 liters per Palestinian per day in the West Bank.
However, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Israel has cut off nearly all water flow to the region. According to a report in Al Jazeera, Mekorot, the main supplier of water to Palestinian towns and cities, siphoned off water supplies to the municipality of Jenin, several Nablus villages and the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages.
Ayman Rabi, the executive director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that in some areas people had not received water for more than 40 days.
“People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity,” he said.
“Families are having to live on two, three or 10 liters per capita per day,” he said, adding that in some areas they had started rationing water.
According to the United Nations, individuals need around 7.5 liters of water per day to survive. However, in Palestine, where the average temperature reaches over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer, the amount of water needed to survive is far higher.
In an interview with Press TV, Richard Silverstein, a journalist and political commentator, called the shutting off of water an act of spite in response to the tragic terror attacks in Tel Aviv earlier this month.
“Well, this is an issue of Israel’s pure naked power grab and it does this with resources like water, it does it with resources like land and it does it through naked strength of military force in order to get its way and promote its own interest and as you mentioned the settlers are the ones who are the primary beneficiaries of these series of thefts by Israel and this is something that is routine that happens every day and we saw after the terror attack in Tel Aviv that Israel basically shut down the West Bank and hundred thousand Palestinians who had work permits were not permitted to enter Israel.
“This is just really done on a whim and it is done out of spite. You mentioned that it is Ramadan and of course this is a symbolic act by Israel, it is sticking its thumb into the eye of Palestinians and unfortunately this is what the definition of occupation is,” explained Silverstein.
Aside from cutting off the water, after the tragic shooting by two men from a village near the West Bank city of Hebron on a Tel Aviv entertainment complex that left four Israelis dead, Israeli officials froze tens of thousands of travel and work permits for Palestinians in response to the attack.
Sadly, the mistreatment of the Palestinians and the resultant blowback is a vicious cycle that seems never-ending. Unfortunately, it also appears to be escalating.
Even a top Israeli general, during the country’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, addressed and exposed the current state of his country when he likened the atmosphere in modern day Israel to 1930’s Nazi Germany.
“If there is anything that frightens me in the remembrance of the Holocaust, it is discerning nauseating processes that took place in Europe in general, and in Germany specifically back then, 70, 80 and 90 years ago, and seeing evidence of them here among us in the year 2016,” Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the Israeli army’s deputy chief of staff said.
Until humanity realizes that acts of aggression will always be met with more acts of aggression — this madness will continue.