Human-rights group waters down facts

In an effort to prove that Fatah is just as radical and uncompromising as Hamas, the Palestinian Authority continues from one baseless libel against Israel to the next, all of which immediately make headlines. The most recent example is Amnesty International's accusations that Israeli settlers are taking water from the Palestinians.


This accusation is groundless. In fact, most of the settlements get their water piped in from inside the Green Line -- not, as Amnesty claims, from wells that belong to the Palestinians. According to the Oslo II accords, the Palestinians are entitled to 23.6 million cubic meters a year. However, the Palestinians actually pump, with Israeli consent, 70 million cubic meters. In addition, the Israeli Civil Administration supplies, over and above the Oslo requirements, water to villages that experience shortages.

Amnesty fails to ask where the millions of dollars that flowed to the Palestinian Authority for the construction of an efficient water system have vanished, or where the funds are that the World Bank provided for a sewage system that would protect the environment and prevent the seepage of wastewater into the aquifers.

So, instead of peaceful cooperation, an environmental nightmare is on the horizon.

Leah Ronen


(The writer is executive director of the Augusta Jewish Federation and the Augusta Jewish Community Center.)