Israeli Violations of International Law on Water in the Occupied Territories
Extracts from an article by Stephen Lendman / July 16th, 2008
West Bank water is another Palestinian asset that Israel illegally utilises / monopolises. West Bank has three principle aquifers supplying about one-quarter of Israel’s needs, including for its settlements and nearly all of what West Bank Palestinians get. They are:
* the Yarkon-Tanninim Aquifer supplying Israel with about 340 million cubic meters (mcm) of water annually — to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv mainly; Palestinians get far less — about 20 mcm a year;
* the Nablus-Gilboa Aquifer supplying about 115 mcm annually, largely for agricultural irrigation in Galilee-based kibbutzim and moshavim cooperative settlements;
* the Eastern Aquifer supplying about 40 mcm a year to Jordan Valley-based settlements; another 60 mcm go to Palestinians.
Water also comes from the upper Jordan River and its tributaries — the Sea of Galilee, the Yarmouth, and lower Jordan River. Palestinians are denied most of it. As their population grows, shortages have become more acute because of Israel’s restrictive policies.
By integrating Occupied Territory water resources into its legal and bureaucratic system and denying Palestinians the right to develop them for their own use, Israel violates international law under Articles 43 and 55 of the 1907 Hague Regulations. Also Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relating to treating “all protected persons….with the same consideration by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are….”
Then there’s Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses. It requires water division between states to be reasonable and equitable. Not according to a specific formula but with regard to seven factors: