Israel-Palestinian water sharing agreement amended after US envoy
An agreement has been reached that will see an increase in the amount of water being shared between Israel and the Palestinian Authority...
TEL AVIV, Israel – An agreement has been reached that will see an increase in the amount of water being shared between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as part of the wider Red Sea-Dead Sea project.
Under the deal, Israel has agreed to provide the West Bank and Gaza Strip with 32 million cubic metres of water annually – up from the 10 million cubic metres previously agreed.
Accounting for a quarter of Palestinian territories’ water needs in total, 22 million cubic metres is expected to go the occupied West Bank, with the remaining 10 million to Gaza.
The deal was announced by Jason Greenblatt, US Middle East representative during a US envoy, with Israel's Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Mazin Ghunaim, head of the Palestinian Water Authority also present.
Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a memorandum of understanding back in 2013 for Red Sea-Dead Sea water conveyance project.
Costing $10 billion, the ambitious project has been heralded as the solution to Jordan's water deficit and the Dead Sea's ongoing and dramatic environmental degradation.
Part of the proposal is to build a 180 km pipeline to transport up to two billion cubic metres of seawater per year from the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea through Jordanian territory to the Red Sea.
Also included in the plans is a desalination plant, to eventually be expanded from 191,200 m3/day to 250,000 m3/day in capacity.
Greenblatt was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We hope this deal will contribute to the healing of the Dead Sea and that it will help not only Palestinians and Israelis but Jordanians as well.”