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Israel Chokes Off Water Supply to 17 Palestinian Communities - Report

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Israeli forces this week opted to cut off water supply lines feeding into more than a dozen communities in the West Bank city of Hebron, according to the Palestine News Network.

In total, the changes will affect 17 Mafasir Yatta communities, where an estimated 1,500 Palestinians reside.

The Wednesday move has been largely criticized by locals as yet another Israeli measure to force Palestinians away from their home in order to expand settlements, PNN reported.

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A 2009 Amnesty International report on Palestinian access to water supplies notes that "Palestinian consumption in the [Occupied Palestinian Territories] is about 70 litres a day per person — well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organization — whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much."

"The stark reality of this inequitable system is that, today, more than 40 years after Israel occupied the West Bank, some 180,000-200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities there have no access to running water, and even in towns and villages, which are connected to the water network, the taps often run dry," the report continues.

More recently, a 2018 United Nations report found that "at least 1.9 million Palestinians experience, or are at risk of, conflict and violence, displacement and denial of access to livelihoods, among other threats."

"The most vulnerable Palestinians are currently denied or restricted in their access to essential services such as water and health care. A recurrent cycle of shocks, natural and manmade, has eroded the resilience of vulnerable households to cope with the prolonged nature of the humanitarian crisis," it noted.

News of the water lines being closed off came on the same day that Israeli forces destroyed a recently reconstructed road that connected Khallet Ad-Dabe' to Masafer Yatta in the south of Hebron. The road provided Palestinian farmers the ability to access farmlands and residential areas.

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Rateb al-Jabour, the coordinator of the Anti-Wall and Anti-Settlement Committees in Yatta, told the Palestine News Agency that Israeli servicemembers provided protection to a military bulldozer as the road was being destroyed.

Earlier this week, residents of the troubled city of Hebron also witnessed Israeli settlers attacking various Palestinian homes in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, Ma'an News Agency reported. The attack was reportedly preceded by an organized mass demonstration in the city center, where participants chanted anti-Arab remarks.

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