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Israeli forces demolish water pipelines under construction in northern West Bank

Aug. 8, 2016 4:06 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 8, 2016 6:08 P.M.)
(File)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces reportedly destroyed large portions of a water pipeline under construction in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas on Monday.

Arif Daraghmah, the head of the village council in the Jordan Valley and neighboring Bedouin communities, told Ma'an that Israeli forces accompanied by military vehicles and two bulldozers began the demolition process early on Monday morning on the pipeline, which he said targeted a pipeline funded by NGO Action Against Hunger that had been under construction for the past four months in order to provide water to residents of the area.

Daraghmah added that the Israeli forces completely destroyed the four-kilometer water pipeline between the town of Tubas and the village of Yarza, and also destroyed and seized large parts of the nine-kilometer pipeline connecting Yarza to the village of al-Malih.

He said Israeli forces were carrying out these demolitions in order to pressure Palestinian residents into leaving the area.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into the reports. A spokesperson for Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which is responsible for implementing the Israeli government's policy in the occupied Palestinian territory, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.

According to Amnesty international, nearly 200,000 Palestinians in the West Bank do not have access to running water, a situation aggravated during the hot summer months.

Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq estimated in a 2013 report that up to 50 percent of Palestinian water supplies were diverted by Israeli national water company Mekorot over the summer months to meet the consumption needs of Israel’s illegal settlements.

Just half of Palestinian proposals for wells and improvement projects to the water network were approved by Israel between 1995 and 2008, compared to a 100 percent approval rate for Israeli projects, a study cited in the report found.

Israelis, including settlers, have access to 300 liters of water per day, according EWASH, while the West Bank average is around 70 liters, below the World Health Organization's recommended minimum of 100 liters per day for basic sanitation, hygiene, and drinking.
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