News ID: 240411
Published: 0537 GMT March 18, 2019

Israel depriving Palestinians of access to clean water supplies, stripping their land of minerals: UN rights expert

Israel depriving Palestinians of access to clean water supplies, stripping their land of minerals: UN rights expert

A United Nations human rights investigator says the Israeli regime is depriving millions of Palestinians of access to clean water supplies while extracting natural resources in the occupied territories “in an apparent act of pillage.”

Michael Lynk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, said on Monday that Israel “continues full-steam with settlement expansion” in the West Bank irrespective of an international outcry and UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which calls on the regime to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds, Presstv Reported.

Lynk further noted that 20,000 to 25,000 people were added to the settler population in the occupied West Bank every year.

“In Gaza, the collapse of the coastal aquifer, the only natural source of drinking water in the Strip and now almost entirely unfit for human consumption, is contributing to a significant health crisis among the two million Palestinians living there,” the UN official pointed out.

Despite the withdrawal of Israeli settlers and troops from Gaza in 2005, Tel Aviv has maintained a “hermetic seal of air, sea and land blockade” around the coastal enclave, Lynk said.

“For nearly five million Palestinians living under occupation, the degradation of their water supply, the exploitation of their natural resources and the defacing of their environment are symptomatic of the lack of any meaningful control they have over their daily lives,” he noted.

Lynk went on to say that Israeli quarry companies extracted some 17 million tonnes of stone each year, “notwithstanding strict prohibitions in international law against a military power economically exploiting an occupied territory.”

“The Dead Sea and its plentiful natural resources, part of, which lies within the occupied Palestinian territory, is off-limits to any Palestinian development while Israeli companies are permitted to harvest the minerals in an apparent act of pillage,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Ibrahim Khraishi, urged Israel to put an end to “the theft of Palestinian property.”

“Israel must stop this pillaging, what Israel is doing in the occupied territories is very far from its obligations under international law and treaties. This is more even than apartheid,” he said.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said on October 2 last year that some 89 percent of the Gaza Strip population did not have access to safe drinking water.

Gaza has been under Israeli siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014 and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100 others.

 

 

   
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