Tuesday 16th May, 2017
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Israel State Comptroller released today a first of its kind report on the state of transboundary water issues between Israel and the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza). From February to October 2016 staff from the Israel State Comptroller’s office assessed the performance of Israeli government ministries and authorities with a particular focus on transboundary water issues; concluding that these water issues are the most critical and of national concern.
The report reveals more than two decades of Israeli government action and inaction on failing to prevent transboundary water pollution. The report is highly critical of the Civil Administration, Environment, Health and Water Authorities in Israel and details their failure to act responsibly on issues of cross border environmental protection and public health.
“23 years after signing the Oslo Accords the report reveals that the Government of Israel never prepared a national strategy on how to deal with cross border pollution issues, though all authorities involved were well aware of the public health and environmental threats. Without a government authority appointed to take charge of cross border environment and water pollution issues, the report reveals that different Israeli authorities involved either tried to pass on responsibility to other Israeli ministries or turn the issue to a political blame game” said Gidon Bromberg, Israeli co-Director of EcoPeace Middle East.
For EcoPeace Middle East uniquely involved in water diplomacy and environmental problem solving on the ground, the report is a last minute wake up call for change in government policy and leadership on environment and water security. The report highlights the ticking public health time bomb for Israel and the region and uses Gaza’s current water and sanitation crises as an example.
“At this very moment in Gaza, where 2 million people have literally run out of healthy water to even drink and where the risk of outbreak of pandemic disease should be of humanitarian and national security concern for both peoples, Israeli and Palestinian authorities are haggling over the price of the water to be charged to Gaza,” continued Bromberg.
The full report (in hebrew) can be read on The State Comptroller website, refer to page 1,481 for the transboundary water issues.
Click here for a link to the Executive Summary (EcoPeace’s non-official English translation).
For more information please call EcoPeace Middle East: Gidon Bromberg +972 (0)52-4532597
EcoPeace Middle East is a unique organization that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian, and Israeli environmentalists. Our primary objective is the promotion of cooperative efforts to protect our shared environmental heritage. In so doing, we seek to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for lasting peace in our region. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Bethlehem, and Tel-Aviv.