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  • ACRI

In the Height of Summer, the Residents of Kfar Aqab have Water only 12 Hours a Week

Since the beginning of June, there has been a severe water shortage in the Kfar 'Aqab neighborhood of East Jerusalem. At the beginning of the month, residents said the water flowed through pipes for only two days, after which it dropped to just 12 hours a week. The significant reduction in the amount of water has made it impossible to fill the water tanks on the rooftops of homes, and the shortage of running water is evident in all areas of life. Students were sent home, HMOs and the maternity hospital in the neighborhood found it difficult to operate. Camps canceled their activities and many homes did not have enough water for bathing and cleaning. The authorities are responsible for supplying water to the neighborhood – the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructures, the Water Authority, and the Jerusalem Municipality – shift responsibility to each other and to the Palestinian Authority, even though the neighborhood is within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries.

On June 23, 2024, we sent urgent legal correspondence (Hebrew) to the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, the Head of the Water and Sewage Authority, and the Mayor of Jerusalem. Attorney Tal Hassin of ACRI emphasized that the Kfar 'Aqab neighborhood was annexed to Jerusalem in 1967, as part of the annexation of the entire eastern city, and that the state authorities have a legal obligation to provide its residents with full services.

"The fact that in Israel, in the 21st century, residents are forced to buy water from unregulated sources, at unregulated prices, and store it on the rooftops of their homes, constitutes a certificate of poverty for any entity responsible for the water sector and its supply," the letter states. "Every summer, residents of the neighborhood report a water shortage, to no avail, but this summer the neglect that characterizes the authorities' treatment of the residents of Palestinian neighborhoods living beyond the separation wall broke a new record. Their abandonment, while severely violating their right to life, dignity, equality and health, is illegal and must be put to an immediate end, while finding a solution that will enable the urgent resumption of the water supply."


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