Israel markets its water expertise as an agent of change internationally but uses water as a weapon of war against the Palestinians, according to South Africa’s minister of water and sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane.
The minister was criticizing Israel’s policies in a speech during Israeli Apartheid Week delivered earlier this month at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
Mokonyane said Israel’s water story has “two faces.” One is Israel as the “world’s leading practitioner of water apartheid.” Israel has full control of all water access and water use in historic Palestine – the West Bank, Gaza Strip and present-day Israel. This “skewed distribution” leaves Palestinians in the West Bank with 73 liters per person per day, Mokonyane said, compared to 240-300 liters for Israelis.
The Palestinian share is far less than the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 100 liters per person per day for domestic use, hospitals, schools and other institutions.
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