Saturday, November 14, 2009

Al-Jazeera Video: Palestinians denied access to water - 14 Nov 09

"Israel dubs Palestinian farmers trying in vain to irrigate their lands "water pirates".

Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, or "water pirates" as Israeli occupation forces prefer to call them, are siphoning off drinking water pipes in an effort to secure water to irrigate their farmland.

Water is an increasingly disputed resource between Israel and the Palestinians.

A World Bank report has accused Israel of using four times more water than Palestinians from the so-called Mountain Aquifer that bridges Israel and the territory and runs along the West Bank.

Israel disputes that claim and says the Palestinians are jeopardising the resource through illegal use.

Palestinians argue they are being denied access in order to force them off their land.

This exclusive report from Al Jazeera shows Israeli occupation forces dismantling a farmer's water pipes in the agricultural village of al-Baqa.

Badran Jaber, a Palestinian farmer, told Al Jazeera: "We were surprised by a large group of soldiers and settlers who surrounded the entire area. We asked them: 'why are you doing this and what do you want?' They refused to speak to us.

"Men who came with the soldiers stormed the field and pulled out all the irrigation pipes, destroying the crops."

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports on how Israeli rules blight the lives of many Palestinians."

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