Thu, April 12, 2012
World > Middle East

Palestinian, Israeli officials to meet on water issues

2012-04-12 14:10:29 GMT2012-04-12 22:10:29(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

RAMALLAH, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian and Israeli officials will meet next week to discuss water issues that affect the two sides, a Palestinian official said Thursday.

The meeting mainly aims to "overcome Israeli obstacles" on water projects in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said Shadad Al- Otili of the Palestinian Water Authority.

The meeting comprises members of the joint water committee which was formed after Israel and the Palestinians signed Oslo accords in 1993, Al-Otili told Xinhua.

The problems include shortage and pollution in drinking water, aggravated mainly due to a corrosive network of sanitation. These problems are more notable in C areas of the West Bank, where Israel retains security and administrative control, Al-Otili explained.

The Israeli restrictions on some water projects were imposed 10 years ago, but Israel "started recently to deal positively with implementing these projects," Al-Atili said, attributing this progress to "perils that started to threaten both Palestinian and Israeli areas."

In 2009, an international rights group accused Israel of preventing the Palestinians from getting adequate water.

The London-based Amnesty International said that Israel uses four times as much water as Palestinians and the Jewish state gets most of the water from an aquifer mostly located in the occupied West Bank.

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