Alternative World Water Forum

The participants of FAME, which was organized in Marseille from March 14 to 17, debated about the Palestinian water situation. The debate was marked by various communications efforts that presented the issue as a veritable “water apartheid”. The participants came to the following conclusions:

1-   The roots and reasons behind the Israeli-Palestinien conflict are essentially political. Water is however at the heart of this conflict.

2-   As an occupier, it is Israel’s responsibility, by virtue of the Geneva Convention, to ensure that the necessary water supplies are provided to the occupied Palestinians.

3-   Israel uses water in this conflict as a political weapon and as a means of ethnic cleansing, having recourse to Military Orders N. 92 of August 15, 1967 and N. 158 of October 30, 1967.

4-   Israel is carrying out a veritable “hydraulic apartheid” policy against Palestinians to force them to abandon their land and give it to illegal colonists. A Palestinian generally has access to one quarter of the amount of the water of the water that a Israeli consumes. It is even forbidden for a Palestinian to collect rainwater.

5-   The wall of separation – or rather shame – is considered illegal by international jurisdiction; it separates families, steals water from Palestinians and gives it to the colonies, prevents Palestinians from cultivating their fields and olive groves. What makes this more serious is that agriculture represents 15% of the Palestinian GDP.

6-   Mekorot, managing the National Water Carrier (NWC), is carrying out a discriminatory policy with regards to Palestinians, which leads them to think that they live in a “country of thirst”.

7-   Israel prevents Palestinians from accessing proper water treatment. This puts their health in danger and it risks polluting the water tables that both Palestinians and the Israeli occupiers use.

8-   The situation in Gaza regarding “drinking water” and “water treatment” is against human dignity and is truly unbearable.

9-   Nomadic peoples are living in intolerable conditions in terms of water. The lack of water, caused by the occupier, makes their lives impossible and decimates their cheptel (access to pastures is forbidden).

For all of these reasons, FAME participants vigorously condemn these Israeli actions, that we must consider as criminal, with regards to Palestinians and water. FAME participants also denounce the ongoing violations of the Palestinians’ right to water.

They are asking for a Commission to monitor the situation and create an International Water Tribunal in order to end this injustice.

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