The Brutality of Denying Water to Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

The Brutality of Denying Water to Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills

Abu Hani and his family live only two kilometers from the Israeli settlement outpost of Avigayil in the occupied South Hebron Hills. But unlike Avigayil’s residents, who are connected to Israel’s national water grid, Abu Hani and his children are barred from doing so. Not only do they not receive a drop from Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, the Israeli authorities also prohibit them from maintaining cisterns for storing rainwater, as they had been doing until Israel took over the area.

Abu Hani, like many other Palestinian breadwinners in the South Hebron Hills, is forced to travel great distances and pay exorbitant prices in order to fill up a rusty container that will provide his family with water.

He is not the only one. According to human rights group B’Tselem, Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills buy water transported by trucks that usually come from the nearby Palestinian city of Yatta, often paying more than four times the price of water for residential use in Israel. These high prices mean that Palestinians may spend as much as a third of their monthly income on water. Contrast that with Israel, where the average family spends only 1.3 percent of its monthly income on water.

The lack of local water infrastructure for Palestinians means average daily water consumption per capita among Palestinian West Bank residents stands at 28 liters per capita per day, whereas consumption in the Israeli settlements in the South Hebron Hills is 211 liters per capita per day. This consumption level is similar to that in humanitarian crisis areas around the world such as Darfur, according to B’Tselem.

Denying water to the Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills is one of many brutal methods for expelling the local population in order to take its land and hand it over to Jewish settlers.