What's Happening?


Dry Rivers

     β€œI will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools.”

Isaiah 42:15

     β€œHe turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the water springs into dry ground.”

Psalms  107:33

Perilous Times

Arab-Israeli water feuds get worse.

by Staff Writers
Ramallah, West Bank (UPI) Apr 16, 2010

Israel's feud with the Palestinians over dwindling West Bank water resources stymied an EU effort this week to secure a water management strategy for the Mediterranean region where 290 million people face shortages by 2025.

Last month, Israeli troops killed a 16-year-old Palestinian and critically wounded another teenager in a clash with Jewish settlers over a well near the city of flash point city of Nablus.

That's an extreme case, to be sure. But it reflects the growing tension in the West Bank, which Israel is slicing up with its security barrier and annexing a large chunk of land Palestinians want for a future state.

The Palestinians claim Israel is stealing their water, while the 400,000 Jewish settlers are up in arms because they fear they will be forced to abandon the West Bank as part of a peace deal.

The March 20 bloodshed in Nablus, many fear, is a portent of the battle ahead as the water shortage goes beyond crisis, worsened by years of drought, growing Israeli requirements and on the Arab side, poor conservation and planning.

According to the World Bank, Israelis consume four times as much water per person as Palestinians.

In October, Amnesty International accused Israel of neglecting Palestinian infrastructure development and leaving 200,000 Palestinians without running water.

Jewish settlers use the same amount of water as 2.3 million Palestinians, Amnesty alleged. Israel denied the allegations.

By most estimates, half the water Israel consumes is taken from its neighbors, the Palestinians and the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967 and annexed in 1980.

These sources are drying up and Israel needs to find new sources. One it has long coveted is the Litani River in south Lebanon, which at one
point flows 2 miles from the border.

Even before Israel became a state in 1948, Zionist leaders had their eyes on the Litani, and wanted the Jewish state to extend deep into what is now Lebanon, amounting to around one-third of the modern-day state.

The Litani, along with the Syrian headwaters of the Jordan River, were considered to be vital for the economic well being of the future Jewish state.