Israel cuts off water to Arab Druze towns on hottest day of year
STARVE THEM OUT. THIRST THEM OUT. MY, MY, BUT THE ISRAELIS ARE JUST BEYOND BELIEF. THIS IS, OF COURSE, ANOTHER PLANNED TACTIC ONLY A TAD HARDER TO PROVE THAN THE DUMPING OF REFUSE AND CHEMICALS INTO THE LOCAL WELLS.
by Saed Bannoura
July 4, 2009
The Israeli National Water Company has cut off the water supply to two Arab Druze towns inside Israel. While water cut-offs by Israeli authorities are common within the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank, they are fairly unheard of within Israel itself.
Town of Usafiya (photo by Katamon)
While the National Water Company, Mekorot, blamed the municipal authorities in the towns of Daliyat al-Karmel and Usafiya for collecting the fees and then keeping them instead of passing them on to the water company, the municipal authorities say the Ministry of Interior is to blame.
For the last five years, the towns have been under the control of a federally-appointed comptroller who was supposed to arrange a payment plan for the towns to pay off past debt to the water company. First, the two municipalities were combined under a single entity called Carmel City, and ‘Carmel City’ signed an 18-month payment plan that would have ended in May 2009.
But after six months, the entity ‘Carmel City’ was dissolved, and the two municipalities returned to having separate governing authorities. But apparently the federally-appointed comptroller did not take responsibility for following up on the 18-month payment plan made with the no-longer-existent Carmel City, and the plan expired with millions of shekels unpaid.
The water company makes no provision for the weather in their decisions to cut off water in non-payment cases. Instead, they happened to choose a day (July 1st) that is in the middle of a heat wave, and is in fact the hottest day so far this year.
Ordinary citizens who pay their water fees each month are outraged that the two municipalities have been completely cut off. Kamal Adwan, a resident of one of the towns, told Israeli daily Yediot Ahranoth, "It's not easy to get by without water in this heat. A few have water reservoirs or wells near their houses, others just have to buy bottled mineral water."
Another resident, Samah Kayouif, told the Israeli daily that the residents had received no notice of an impending water cutoff, saying, "We woke up in the morning to find there was no water in the pipes. How do you shower? Shave? Go to the bathroom? Never mind just getting a drink. It's impossible to live like this, I had to go to work, but my wife took the kids and drove to her parents' because they have a rainwater reservoir."
Mekorot water company issued a statement saying that they "deeply regret" the suffering of ordinary citizens, but told those citizens to complain to their municipality.
IF IT IS NOT ONE EXCUSE, IT IS ANOTHER.
ODD THAT ONLY DRUZE WERE SO "INCONVENIENCED."
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