Key Documents on Water Justice in Palestine

Reports & Studies

Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) produced this position paper, Water resource allocations in the occupied Palestinian territory: Responding to Israeli claims. It addresses the injustice of water resource allocation, access and consumption in the occupied Palestinian territory.

B'Tselem (2017). Made in Israel - Exploiting Palestinian Land for Treatment of Israeli Waste.

BDS for Palestinian Water Justice (PDF) describes the international laws regarding the role of occupier in providing for the occupied—including water rights—and how they are disregarded and violated by Israel. The article also discusses the extreme hardship of those living in the Gaza Strip who don’t have potable water.

The Environmental Impact of Israeli Settlements on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This Middle East Monitor Fact Sheet (2012) covers Israel’s “systemic policy for the destruction of the Palestinian environment.”

EU (The Office of the European Union Representative - West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNRWA) (2018). Six-Month Report on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issued a two-page report comprised of charts and graphs entitled Gaza Strip: Early Warning Indicators-October 2018

Other reports from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

OCHA (The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) (2017). 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview – Occupied Palestinian Territory.

OCHA (The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) (2017). Safe water and reduced health risks for communities unserved by the water network in Area C.

Palestinian Hydrology Group created a PowerPoint to examine water issues in the region and to focus on the Israeli impact on Palestinians' need and access to clean water. 

Rand Corporation's 2018 Report: Gaza's Water and Sanitation Crisis is a comprehensive look at the crisis, particularly chemical and biological contamination and how this catastrophe could also impact Egypt and Israel. The article suggests steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of a significant public health disaster.

Thirsting for Justice shows how the arrangement written in the Oslo Peace Accords 20 years ago continues to allow Israel control over water distribution for Palestinians. Many European Union efforts to increase access to water for Palestinians have been demolished as Israel continues to sabotage water and waste projects. 

This UNICEF article (PDF) addresses inequitable access to water in the West Bank, as well as the Gaza Strip’s water supply, which is unfit for human consumption due to sewage, agricultural infiltration, and salt-water intrusion from the sea.

UN Resolution adopted by General Assembly on 28 July 2010. The human right to water and sanitation. In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (Resolution 64/292) explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights.

WAFA (Palestinian News & Info Agency) (2018). Officials: Sewage waste from Israeli settlements destroys Palestinian environment, crops.

Water for One People Only (PDF) provides data regarding the violation of Palestinian water rights, the history and legal analysis of the exploitation of Palestinians’ need for water and the impact of the Occupation on quality of life. 

Water in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (PDF) A January 2016 report from the European Parliamentary Research Service. 

Water Resource Allocations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Responding to Israeli claims (PDF). The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem answers Israel’s claims that it is fulfilling all its obligations under the Oslo Process, and that the Palestinians are to blame for the water shortages they experience.

Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program at Tufts University report-back (PDF). The Lajee Center and 1for3, two nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the lives of Palestinian refugees living in the West Bank, invited a group of five graduate students from the Water: Systems, Science and Society (WSSS) program at Tufts University to help assess water quality in al Azza refugee camp in March 2016. Al Azza camp, like most communities in the West Bank and Gaza, faces regular water shortages due in part to underinvestment in the water sector, deteriorating water infrastructure, and inequitable distribution of water resources between Israel and Palestine. 

Articles & Leaflets

Water Inequality Leaflet (PDF) from the Alliance for Water Justice.

Israel: Water as a tool to dominate Palestinians. Good summary article about Israel’s use of water as a weapon.

“‘Diseased water’: Gazans go thirsty as sewage and pollution poison wells”

Water pollution reaches catastrophic levels in the Gaza Strip. “Frequent power cuts in Gaza have made it impossible to provide homes with running water all day. With summer approaching, moreover, Gaza is threatened with a water scarcity crisis that has been compounded by successive Israeli military assaults and a nearly 10-year-old blockade.”

Water Consumption. Israeli Settlers vs. Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: A telling graphic—and this was before the 2014 assault on Gaza.

This Electronic Intifada article highlights similarities between Flint, Detroit, and Gaza. It addresses the structural violence that has created the inequities and denial of basic human rights, with a focus on the role of water.

This article in CounterPunch cites the unheeded disastrous conditions of climate change by major world powers that have contributed to the ongoing destruction of water access for Palestinians.

According to this Inter Press Service article, “…the world may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030.…despite improvements, at least 663 million still do not have access to safe drinking water. And projecting into the future, the United Nations says an estimated 1.8 billion people—out of a total world population of over 7 billion—will live in countries or regions with water scarcities.”

“Israel Controls More than 85% of the Land of Historical Palestine.” An unbelievably thorough yet succinct overview of Palestinian life.