President Abbas: Israel Can’t Continue to Control Trans-boundary Water
ISTANBUL, March 21, 2009 (WAFA)- On the Fifth World Water Forum and World Water Day, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, Saturday, that “Israel must now realize that it cannot continue to control the Palestinian people and with it, it cannot continue to unilaterally control trans-boundary water and other resources.”
In a statement read on his behalf by the Head of the Palestinian Water Authority Dr. Shaddad Attili, President Abbas said that for almost 42 years, Israel has been in control over Palestinian water resources, and has not shared them equally with Palestinians as required by international law. “Palestinian domestic consumption of water is 4 times less than the Israeli’s, which is less than the World Health Organization’s guidelines for minimum recommended daily levels,” the President added.
President Abbas expressed his disappointment about Israeli colonizers’ use of water, as 9000 Israeli colonizers consume one quarter of the whole consumption of Palestinians in the West Bank, besides the destruction of Gaza water resources. Only 10- 20 % of water there is drinkable.
Regarding the case of Jordan River Basin and other trans-boundary waters including the coastal aquifer underneath Gaza, Abbas said “I am pleased to announce, today, our intention to become a party to this treaty once we have attained statehood. Furthermore, we urge other states that have not yet ratified the UN Convention to join us and the other 16 countries in accepting this fair system of cooperating with regard to the vital resource we celebrate today.”
The UN Convention aims to conserve and manage ground and surface water resources by compelling an obligation on UN member states to share water and cooperate on water-related matters fairly. It provides that the member states negotiate or find a third party agreement.
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