Navigate to News section

Amnesty Says Israel Is Denying Water to Palestinians

Rights group says territories receive insufficient water supplies

Orlee Maimon
October 28, 2009

Israel is hogging clean drinking water, providing settlers with almost unlimited supplies while providing insufficient amounts to Palestinians, according to an Amnesty International report released yesterday. The report says that most Palestinians don’t have enough water for the level of per-person daily use recommended by the World Health Organization. Israel’s Water Authority disputes the charges, offering evidence that Palestinians have more water than the Amnesty report details, but it hasn’t yet provided a solid defense to the human-rights abuses Amnesty International alleges stem from the large discrepancy in water usage between Israeli and Palestinian populations. (The report offers only scant criticism of the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Water Authority, but it does note that around 40 percent of water diverted to Palestinians is lost through faulty infrastructure.)

Critics of the report maintain that it ignores the complexities of Israel’s history and geography, and international law, in order to portray Israel negatively. “Amnesty’s report manipulates the issue of water and ignores the complexities of history and law in order to again falsely portray Israel as a brutal regime,” NGO Monitor president Gerald Steinberg told the Jerusalem Post. “Rather than recognize that water supply is a complex regional issue, Amnesty focuses only on Palestinian shortages.”