18 March 2019 UN special rapporteur denounces Israel’s move to deprive Palestinians of clean water

UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk, assessing the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory, has stated that Israel is depriving millions of Palestinians of access to a regular supply of clean water while stripping their land of minerals. He was addressing the UN Human Rights Council and faced the boycott from Israel’s delegation, who found the debate on the situation completely biased against Israel. “In his latest farcical report, Mr. Lynk stoops to a new low and (accuses) the Jewish State of stealing,” Israel’s mission in Geneva said in a statement to Reuters. “As of 2017, more than 96% of Gaza’s coastal aquifer – the main source of water for residents of Gaza – has become unfit for human consumption. The reasons include over-extraction because of Gaza’s extremely dense population, contamination with sewage and seawater, Israel’s 12-year old blockade, and asymmetrical wars which have left Gaza’s infrastructure severely crippled and with a near-constant electricity shortage”, said Lynk. A $567 million plan, internationally-sponsored, has been agreed to address Gaza’s shortage of clean water by constructing desalination plants, but analysts say it would take years before it can be used.