Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Arab Water Theft - Where Has All the Water Gone?
The Arabs have been stealing some 3 million cubic meters of water each year in parts of Judea, south of Jerusalem, and the government has now taken action. The Civil Administration confiscated some 50,000 kilometers' worth of water piping this week from Arabs living in the South Mt. Hevron region. The Arabs steal the water by hooking up pipes to the central pipelines that deliver water to the Jewish towns in the Mt. Hevron Regional Council.
The Civil Administration is the body that governs Judea and Samaria in the name of the Israeli Government.
Despite the considerable size of the confiscated haul, the Civil Administration estimates that it is merely a drop in the bucket. The Arabs still retain some 85% of the piping through which they stream the stolen water to the Arab villages.
Two weeks ago, Mt. Hevron Regional Council head Tzviki Bar-Chai wrote an urgent letter to Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen. Bar-Chai wrote that the matter of Arab water theft had gone "out of control." He pleaded with the two to convene the relevant authorities and take action to "stop the ongoing catastrophe."
Amir Ben-Tovim, Assistant to the Police Commissioner, wrote in response his confirmation that over the past three summers, Arab theft of water had risen in the Judea and Samaria district.