Intentionally Blocked Drainage Channels Are Turning the Flooded West Bank Into A Morass of Filth
Water As A Weapon
by Hardly Waite
The article we’ve excerpted below provides a good example of the use of water as a weapon of torture and destruction. Ironically, the use of such techniques as intentional flooding, promotion of bacterial water contamination, and , as in the case cited below, blockage of natural drainage to promote disease and property destruction, seem to slip by unnoticed by the mainstream media. If a bomb kills five people on a bus, the world rightly decries the act of terrorism; but if a powerful nation bombs a water treatment plant, then imposes economic sanctions that prohibit the sale of chlorine and repair parts needed to repair the plant, purposefully causing the deaths of thousands upon thousands of peaceful civilians, it is not viewed as terrorism but diplomacy.
Walls and winter rains afflict Palestinian towns
By Noah Browning
QALQILYA, West Bank | Wed Jan 9, 2013 10:14am EST
— Heavy winter downpours have turned some Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank into a morass of filth and flooding as an Israeli barrier blocks the waters from draining away.
In Qalqilya, a town of 42,000 in the northern West Bank almost completely surrounded by the concrete wall, Khaled Kandeel and his family huddled by an open fire in a shed as trash-laden water swelled through his pear orchard.
“Before the wall, the water used to drain fine, and flowed down to the sea easily. They could just flip a switch and end our suffering, but they don’t,” Kandeel said, his breath steamy from the winter cold.
Israel started building the barrier, a mix of metal fencing, barbed wire and concrete walls, in 2002 in response to a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings.
Drainage channels run under the imposing ramparts but their automated metal gates are mostly closed and now clogged with refuse and stones that block the outflow of storm water.
The Israeli military, citing security reasons, generally bars locals from clearing the obstructions or digging their own channels close to the barrier.
Built mostly within occupied land and not on the “Green Line” which was Israel’s de facto border before the 1967 Middle East War, the barrier inside the West Bank is deemed illegal by the U.N.’s International Court of Justice.
It directly impacts the farming, grazing and environment of about 170 communities, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) says.
Hemmed-in residents of northern towns in the West Bank have been deprived of large swathes of rural land, forcing poorly-regulated waste dumping closer to farms and homes.
Driving rain could not mask the stench of raw sewage being unloaded from a tanker on a village road outside Qalqilya on Tuesday, its putrid contents mixing with the brown torrent pouring past olive trees clustered on the hills.
“Raw sewage is disposed near, or on, agricultural land resulting in the contamination of soil and groundwater,” UNRWA said in a report.