The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) applauds the new agreement between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan to deliver water to drought-stricken Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza. We acknowledge the contributions of all participating governments, including the US, to address this longstanding humanitarian issue.
The five-year pipeline project will move water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. It will deliver 22 million cubic metres of water to the occupied West Bank, and some 10 million will go to Gaza. This agreement builds on the 2013 memorandum of understanding between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians to construct a water desalination plant at the Red Sea.
This recent water-sharing deal comes on the heels of the Second Roundtable on water organized by IPU’s Committee on Middle East Questions. Areas designated for action following the roundtable include: increasing regional water supply through science and technology, mapping communities most threatened by water scarcity, establishing a regional parliamentary network on water governance and supporting MPs’ on shaping equitable and sustainable legislation on water management.
“As we stated during our Roundtable, water should not be used as a weapon in regional conflicts,” explained IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong. “By depoliticizing access to safe water, we hope that this new deal reinforces other peace-building initiatives such as the one we are leading at the IPU. Together we can reach our common goal to transform factors of conflict into elements of co-existence, cooperation, reconciliation and prosperity.”