Sources: Seismic Shock, Harry’s Place et Le Monde
Extraits d’un article par Jonathan Hoffman [lire également de NGO Monitor "Amnesty’s water report: "Israel-apartheid" allegations"]
Amnesty International published a report this week on water allocation in Israel and the Disputed Territories. [Ce rapport coïncide avec la tenue d’une série de conférences organisées aux Etats-Unis, au mois de novembre, par des groupes de boycott anti-israéliens sur le thème "Israël : contrôle de l’eau comme outil d’apartheid et moyen de nettoyage ethnique"].
Jonathan Hoffmann a assisté au lancement, à Londres, du rapport de l’ONG européenne Amnesty International. L’ONG, qui ne cesse depuis des années de publier des rapports mettant Israël en accusation, a confirmé que l’autorité israélienne responsable de l’eau n’a pas été consultée...
"The Report comes to some conclusions which would be striking – if they were true. That Israelis consume four times as much water as Palestinians; that 90-95% of the water in Gaza is "contaminated and unfit for human consumption"; and there are photos of swimming pools in Israel contrasted with empty reservoirs in the West Bank. [Sur ce point, Laurent Zecchini (Le Monde, 28.10.09) ne semble pas convaincu par le rapport: "Dans certaines zones rurales, ajoute l’organisation, les Palestiniens survivent avec à peine 20 litres par jour. Plus de quarante ans après l’occupation de la Cisjordanie, ajoute Donatella Rovera, auteure du rapport, 180 000 à 200 000 Palestiniens vivant dans des communautés rurales n’ont pas accès à l’eau courante. Cette situation est d’autant plus choquante, insiste-t-elle, que les colons israéliens établis en Cisjordanie, "en violation du droit international, recourent à l’irrigation intensive pour leurs cultures, et disposent de jardins luxuriants et de piscines". Cette dernière affirmation ne convainc qu’à moitié : les "jardins luxuriants" et les "piscines" sont loin d’être la règle, et les colons juifs en Cisjordanie forment une palette d’individus aux revenus disparates."] [...]
The Amnesty Report is shamefully biased, as I set out below. (NB this article covers "natural water" – desalinated water is additional and in principle is unlimited, but the Palestinians in Gaza have refused Israeli help to build a desalination plant even though they have had grants for it).
Amnesty p3: "Palestinian consumption in the OPT is about 70 litres per day per person whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption is about 300 litres"
Truth: In 2008 Palestinian per capita daily consumption was 270 litres per day, Israel’s was 405, a factor of 1.5, not 4. Egypt, Lebanon and Syria consume about 5-6 times more water per capita than Israel. Israeli consumption has dropped dramatically due to the need to use water more economically after consecutive years of drought. (Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from Israel Water Authority). The claim that the Palestinian water supply is beneath that recommended for basic living standards is entirely false.
Amnesty p3: "Palestinian families must spend as much as a quarter or more of their income on water"
Truth: No source is cited by Amnesty to support this assertion.
Amnesty p4 and seriatim: "The 450,000 Israeli settlers who live in the West Bank in violation of international law
Truth: Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention says that population cannot be deported or transferred into an occupied area. The settlers were not "deported or transferred": The US does not consider the settlements illegal.
Amnesty p4: "Israel has used the OPT as a dumping ground for its waste"
Truth: Some time ago an article by David Ratner appeared in Haaretz with the title "Israel to dump 10,000 tons of garbage a month in the West Bank." It was rife with serious factual errors. It wrongly stated that the new Kedumim dump would not benefit the local Palestinian population. Ratner falsely wrote that the new dump would accept only garbage from Israel. Ratner claimed that the Israeli government refused to let Palestinians build modern waste disposal sites. It’s nonsense. In Area A the Israeli government has no say in what is built. Moreover, a number of Israeli-administered sites in Area C service the Palestinian population. For instance, the Tovlan dump services household garbage from the Nablus area. A site near Abu Dis services the Palestinian population in Bethlehem, Abu Dis, and surrounding areas. And, a site near Psagot, next to Ramallah, services Ramallah, Al-Bireh and other neighbouring Palestinian towns. In fact in all of Israel and the Palestinian areas, there is only one site designated for hazardous material – Ramat Hovev, in southern Israel. So Palestinian hazardous waste is deposited in Israel – the opposite of what Amnesty alleges!
Amnesty p10: "According to the World Bank, "Palestinians have access to one fifth of the resources of the Mountain Aquifer.
..Israel overdraws without JWC [Joint Water Committee] approval on the "estimated potential" by more than 50%
. Over-extraction by deep wells combined with reduced recharge has created risks for the aquifers and a decline in water available to Palestinians through shallower wells"
Truth: The source for this is an April 2009 World Bank Report. Here is what the Israeli government commented at the time (MFA Press Release): "The authors of the report met with Israeli government officials and were briefed on all the factual details. They were also presented with the Israeli position paper on the subject, which contained verifiable facts that contradict all the objections presented in the World Bank’s report. Significantly, the authors chose to ignore the MFA position, and declined to take the facts presented to them into consideration in the published report. They rely totally on unsubstantiated information supplied by the Palestinian Authority, which raises a serious question mark over the credibility of the report and the intentions of its authors." Amnesty cites this World Bank Report six times.