Thursday, August 04, 2022

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Moroccan poolJericho, August 4 - A high-ranking functionary of Mahmoud Abbas's government blamed Israel for exacerbating the shortage of natural and agricultural resources, observing that to keep his spa, garden, and swimming facilities functioning, he has no choice but to deplete those public resources, all thanks to Israeli policies that fail to maintain sufficient supply for both his needs and those who must drink, bathe, wash, and cook.

Palestinian Authority Deputy Assistance Minister for Prisoner Affairs Fashla Sharmuta lamented the desperate state of water resources available to Palestinians, with the situation so dire that by the time he fills the Olympic-size pool at his home, plus his four jacuzzis, his wading pool, his wave pool for surfing practice, his backup lap pool, his decorative fountains and ponds around his property, and irrigation for his expansive lawn, not enough remains for ordinary Palestinians to access what they need for agriculture, food, and basic hygiene.

"It's the Occupation's exploitative water policies," he explained in an interview. "They take all the water from the aquifer and divert streams for their illegal settlements." Israel's water sources come in the main from desalination, the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret Lake), rain reservoirs, recycled wastewater, rivers from melted mountain snow, and the like. Palestinian government bodies charged with coordinating the maintenance and repair of water supply infrastructure have long refused to engage with their Israeli counterparts, leaving that infrastructure's decay to worsen, increasing wastage and decreasing supply.

"It's a longtime problem," agreed Abbig Hattub, assistant manager of a Jericho-area water park that has never cut back on its water use. "We go through millions of liters a day during the summer, and that puts a dent what's available for regular homes and businesses. It's a brutal thing the Occupation forces us to do, prioritizing commercial leisure activities over basic necessities."

The warped priorities that the Occupation produces exert effects even on Palestinian areas not technically under occupation. The Gaza Strip, which has no Israeli soldiers or settlers in it, suffers electrical power shortages because Hamas rockets aimed at Israeli civilian communities fell short and struck the territory's power plant instead. Hamas and the allied Islamist militant terrorists chose to delay allowing repairs to the facility, the damage to which, and the consequent human suffering from lack of electricity throughout the territory, was obviously Israel's fault. Hamas officials also pointed to the fact that Israel's existence as a safe place for Jews leaves Muslims no choice but to continue trying to kill Jews in order to prove Israel's existence does not make them safe.



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