Ein al-Beida is one of only a few Palestinian villages in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank that are even connected to the water grid.
Photos and text by Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills.org
Some 50 Palestinians from the northern West Bank village of Ein al-Beida staged a protest last week against an Israeli decision to cut off the water supply to their village for over a week. The protest, which ended with no violence or arrests, was held by mostly local farmers.
Mustafa Foqaha, head of the village council, said the amount of water the Israeli water company, Mekorot, allocates to the village has been decreasing over the years, reaching as little as 245 cubic meters per hour prior the full cut-off last week. By the time water was restored on Monday, the supply was even less, a village spokesperson said.
He described it as “not enough” amount for a village of 1,600 inhabitants that is mostly dependent on agriculture. Ein al-Beida is one of only a few villages in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank that are even connected to the water grid. Other Palestinian villages are forced to truck in water at considerable expense, or drill their own wells or connect unauthorized connections to existing water infrastructure.
Foqaha suggested that the cutoff this past week was a result of Israeli authorities deciding to punish the residents of the area after discovering unauthorized water connections in the nearby village of Bardala. An Israeli military spokesperson told +972 Magazine that the cutoff was indeed part of an operation to remove pirated connections in the area.
Similar Israeli actions took place in the village last April, which were also explained at the time as enforcement actions against pirated water connections.
“Although, no [unauthorized] connections were found in our village, the Israelis want to punish the whole area,” one farmer from Ein al-Beida said. “What they call ‘stealing’ is not a real stealing. It’s an attempt from those who lost their water resources to get more amounts due to the limitations by the Israeli occupation.”
Local farmers said some of their crops could be damaged if no solution would come soon.
Ein al-Beida is the site of one of the main water drilling sites used to supply Israeli settlements in the area by the Israeli water company, Mekorot. In 1982, the Israeli military transferred ownership of the Palestinian water...Read More