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E. Jerusalem Palestinians demand running water be restored

In areas where nearly 80 percent live under the poverty line, residents are being forced to buy bottled water for drinking, cooking, showering and cleaning.

Palestinian East Jerusalem residents turned to Israel’s High Court on Tuesday demanding that running water be restored to their homes, after suffering for three weeks without it. The petition was filed on their behalf by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

The East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Shehada, Ras Khamis, Dahyat A’salam and the Shuafat refugee camp, which are cut off from the rest of the city by the separation wall, have gone without running water since March 4.

The Jerusalem municipality does not provide basic municipal services like trash collection to its neighborhoods beyond the eight-meter wall. Even police rarely enter and there is no ambulance service in neighborhoods like Shuafat camp, which are completely surrounded by the wall.

Member of the Swetti family pours water to a put from a plastic bottle, East Jerusalem, March 15, 2014. The family of nine, living in the Ras Shehada neighborhood has been going 10 days without running water. (Activestills.org)

Member of the Swetti family pours water to a put from a plastic bottle, East Jerusalem, March 15, 2014. The family of nine, living in the Ras Shehada neighborhood has been going 10 days without running water. (Activestills.org)

 

A resident of Ras Shehada plugs the building's pipe to a pump to help the water pressure, East Jerusalem, March 15, 2014. The family of nine, living in the Ras Shehada neighborhood has been going 10 days without running water. (Activestills.org)

A resident of Ras Shehada plugs the building’s pipe to a pump to help the water pressure, East Jerusalem, March 15, 2014. The family of nine, living in the Ras Shehada neighborhood has been going 10 days without running water. (Activestills.org)

 

“As a result of the situation, residents are forced to buy bottles of water at exorbitant prices – and this is a population in which 80 percent of people are living under the poverty line. There are elderly, babies, and people with disabilities, and the situation has become unbearable,” said Jamil Sanduka, chairman of the Ras Hamis Neighborhood Committee.

“Anywhere else, if thousands of people were without running water, this problem would have been solved quickly. In our case, the problem is first and foremost that all the responsible parties simply do not care,” he added.

The Jerusalem municipality’s water company “admit that presently the water infrastructure can support 15,000 people; the area’s population is estimated to be between 60,000 and 80,000,” according to ACRI.

Related:
PHOTOS: 13 days without water in East Jerusalem
Beyond the separation wall: A visit to Jerusalem’s forsaken enclaves
Jerusalem’s refugee camp: Abandoned by the state

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    COMMENTS

    1. Philos

      I hope Martin Schultz is reading…

      Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        Indeed!

        Reply to Comment
    2. You’ve annexed East Jerusalem yet failed to improve basic municipal service since 67. It really doesn’t matter who gets to vote for the municipal government; that government has violated whatever goes for its municipal charter. This is lived Apartheid.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Haifawi

      I mean really, how hard is it to send in a bunch of workers to improve the infrastructure? Send in a battalion of Magavnikim to provide security for them if necessary.
      This is just basic governance.

      But we see the true situation here, as well as in Area B and Area C. Israel refuses to perform its legally obligated functions if it doesn’t benefit Jews.

      Reply to Comment
      • Mike Panzone

        It is really such obvious, open discrimination I can not believe that those in control can not see it as such. You would think that they would be concerned about their reputations.

        Reply to Comment
        • Mike Panzone

          …such brazen disregard for fairness and equality… imagine what Israel would do if the world wasn’t watching.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Margot Dunne

      I am deeply, deeply sorry for the Palestinian people, among whom I number friends. Unfortunately the government of my country of Australia pursues an ignorant policy of “Israel right or wrong”. In the end this sort of blind bias will not help Israel to behave responsibly.

      Reply to Comment

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