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Water Supplies (Palestine)

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Minister of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the destruction by Israeli military forces of Well No C67 in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, on 26 April, and the impact of the destruction of the well on the availability and quality of water supplies to the local Palestinian population; and what representations he is making to the Israeli Government on the matter. [113595]

I do not have details of the particular water source in question. It is nevertheless clear that destruction of infrastructure as a result of Israeli Military activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is adversely affecting public services, including water and wastewater. In addition, closures and curfews imposed by the Government of Israel mean that Palestinian maintenance crews are unable to conduct necessary routine maintenance, and water tankers are unable to service Palestinian communities without networks. This has left many Palestinians without access to reliable water supplies for extended periods of time and is leading to concerns about public health in affected areas.We are working closely with the Palestinian Water Authority to support their activities to supply water to all sections of the population. We continue, both bilaterally and through the EU, to make representations at the highest level to the Government of Israel about damage to Palestinian infrastructure caused by Israeli military activity. We are also working closely with colleagues in the region, and across Whitehall, to encourage the Israeli Government to ease closures and curfews.