israel palestinian water deal

Israel News for 7-14-17

Water Deal
Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed a deal, brokered by US envoy Jason Greenblatt, that will provide millions of cubic meters of drinking water to the Palestinians.

The agreement is part of a larger trilateral agreement between Israel, Jordan and the PA for the construction of a 220-kilometer (137-mile) pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. As the water runs down the gradient to the Dead Sea (the lowest point on earth) it will be used to generate electricity that will also power a desalination plant to produce 100 million cubic meters of drinking water for the Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians. The water will also partially replenish the rapidly depleting Dead Sea.

The water sharing deal calls for an Aqaba desalination plant in Jordan to sell water to southern Jordan and Eilat, while water from the Sea of Galilee will be sold to northern Israel and Jordan. Israel will sell 32 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority from Mediterranean desalination plants — 10 million to Gaza and 22 million to the West Bank.

Experts have estimated the canal will cost $10 billion, and the EU, US, Japan and Italy, among others, have already committed to part of the cost. Israel and Jordan will pay for the rest. The project is expected to take four to five years.

Greenblatt said, “As we all know, water is a precious commodity in the Middle East,” Greenblatt said. “The US welcomes the agreement reached by the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel, which will allow for the sale of 32 million cubic meters of water from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, we hope that the deal will contribute to the healing of the Dead Sea and that will help not only Palestinians and Israelis but Jordanians as well.”

He added, “This agreement is an example of the parties working together to make a mutual beneficial deal. I am proud of the role the US and international partners have played in helping the partners reach this deal land I hope it is a harbinger of things to come.”

The Palestinians made it clear that the agreement has no bearing on any final status peace agreement.

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Eco Terror
As a result of Israel’s cutting the electricity supply to Gaza, the sewage treatment plants operated there have stopped operating. That has caused massive dumping of sewage into the Hanun stream, which flows into Israel. The Israelis have been using large vacuum trucks to suck up the sewage, but the situation has gotten to overwhelming for the trucks to handle. The IDF has also tried blocking the stream, but that hasn’t worked either.

Hof Ashkelon Regional Council head Yair Farjun said: “What we’re seeing here is an ecological terror attack. The Israeli government must immediately resolve this crisis and not leave Hof Ashkelon Regional Council to deal with it alone.”

Besides providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes, the sewage flooding can severely impact the drinking water in the area.

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Close Call
Last week Canadian food inspectors ordered liquor stores to stop selling wines made in the West Bank, saying their label identifying them as Israeli contravenes Canadian policy that does not recognize the West Bank as part of Israel. The ruling singled out the Psagot and Shiloh wineries, which are both in settlements outside Ramallah.

The ruling by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) stated “that ‘Product of Israel’ would not be an acceptable country of origin declaration for wine products that have been made from grapes that are grown, fermented, processed, blended and finished in the West Bank occupied territory.”

Yesterday, at least partially as a result of pressure from Canadian Jewish groups, the CFIA overturned their ruling saying, “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regrets the outcome of the wine labelling assessment which led to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s (LCBO) response regarding products from two wineries labelled as ‘Product of Israel’. In our assessment, we did not fully consider the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).”

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Best Beaches
If you’re looking for the beaches that are the best kept secrets in Israel, here are nine of them you should check out. Click here.