Home / Reports / Settlements contaminate Palestinian water supply in Hebron

Settlements contaminate Palestinian water supply in Hebron

26 May 2009

In between the illegal settlments of Kyriat Arba, Givat Harsina and 2 military bases, live Palestinian families that face many hardships. Sewer water from the settlements contaminates their supply of clean water, often overflowing from the sewers. The Palestinian families are in need of repairing or building new homes, but are not allowed by Israel.

A woman living in one of the houses near the settlements explained that Palestinians are not allowed to build new houses on their land, while the surrounding settlements continue to expand. An elderly couple’s house was demolished with a military bulldozer by Israeli occupation forces, and now they are forced to live in an old caravan.

In the Palestinian land near the settlements and Israeli infrastructure, dirty water overspills with the waste from a military base. The sewer water has come up under the steps to the entrance of an elderly couple’s home. The Palestinian woman living in the home explained that the children living in the houses are getting sick from insects attracted by the waste. Furthermore the smell makes living in their homes almost intolerable.

The families have limited resources of water that they have to carry from a shared pipe into their homes and clean water is only available ever couple of days. The families constantly worry about whether there will be enough clean drinking water.

Harassment occurs on a regular basis. The past winter, soldiers came during the night to search the houses without reason, forcing the families outside in the rain as they destroyed the inside of their homes.

Hebron, a Palestinian city with a small but extreme settlment community, is the center of many abuses towards Palestinians. Israeli occupation forces and settlers make life for Palestinians in Hebron difficult, hoping to push them out.