Bedouins in the Jordan Valley live under extremely difficult conditions because two thirds of villages suffer from complete water shortage, Al-Maleh Village Council has said.
The head of the council, Aref Daraghmeh, said that residents are obliged to travel all day outside the Valley to bring small quantities of water for their children, cattle and household uses. “This kind of suffering is increasing,” he said.
Daraghmeh said that most of the springs in the area were drained by the Israeli occupation while water pipes owned by Mekerot, which supplies large Israeli settlements in the area with water, lie beside their houses.
“These settlements were built on lands owned by Palestinians and those Palestinians, who are the real owners, cannot use the water in their lands,” he said.
The head of the Village council said that tens of the families have left the Jordan Valley seeking better water resources.
According to Daraghmeh, the area includes a number of villages and neighbourhoods which were destroyed by the Israeli occupation during the 1967 war. “Beside the water crisis, many of the measures taken occupation also make the life very difficult,” he said.
“Israel repeatedly carries out military drills, burns farms and demolishes homes in order to push residents to leave,” he said.
Daraghmeh called for all NGOs, officials and international organisations to stand beside them in challenging Israeli measures aimed at expelling them from their lands to make way for settlers to expand their settlements.