FOEI: Israeli water company Mekorot under pressure from NGOs

MEDIA ADVISORY

Friends of the Earth International

March 20, 2014

 

ISRAELI WATER COMPANY MEKOROT UNDER PRESSURE FROM NGOS


AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS, March 20, 2014 – The environmental federation Friends of the Earth International announced its support today for a campaign exposing the discriminatory practices of Israeli state water company Mekorot in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. [1]

A ‘Week of Action Against Mekorot’ co-organised by PENGON / Friends of the Earth Palestine and other Palestinian organisations starts on March 22, World Water Day.

“Access to water for Palestinians is a major problem, in large part due to the discriminatory policies of Israeli state water company Mekorot,” said Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International.

The ‘Week of Action Against Mekorot’ aims to intensify pressure on governments and companies to boycott Mekorot and “hold the company accountable for its discriminatory water policies and practices in Palestine.”

In December 2013 the largest drinking water supplier in the Netherlands, Vitens, set a precedent when it decided that its commitment to international law meant it had to withdraw from a cooperation agreement with Mekorot. [2]

“Many Palestinian communities suffer from a lack of access to adequate water due to the encroachment of Israeli settlers on water resources and to Israeli policies and practices that deny Palestinians the human right to water,” said Dr. Ayman Rabi from Friends of the Earth Palestine / PENGON.

All Israeli settlements in the West Bank are connected to piped water supplied by Mekorot. Many people even have swimming pools. Meanwhile an estimated 15% of the Palestinian population is not serviced at all. [3]

The international community considers the establishment of Israeli settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories illegal under international law. [4]

Mekorot violates international law, colludes in pillaging water resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, supplies this pillaged water to illegal Israeli settlements, and engages in systematic discrimination and denial of water to the Palestinian population, according to PENGON. [5]

Consequently, Friends of the Earth International has joined the global call on governments, public and private utility companies and investors worldwide to avoid or terminate all contracts and cooperation agreements with Mekorot.

For more information contact

Jagoda Munic, chairperson of Friends of the Earth International:
+385 98 17 95 690 (Croatian mobile) or jagoda@zelena-akcija.hr

Dr. Ayman Rabi, chairperson of Friends of the Earth Palestine / PENGON :
ayman@phg.org

Notes to Editors

[1] For more information about the Week of Action Against Mekorot:  www.stopmekorot.org

[2] For more information : www.nltimes.nl/2013/12/11/dutch-water-firm-cuts-relations-israels-mekorot/

[3] For more information read ‘Water injustice in Palestine’:  www.foei.org/en/resources/publications/pdfs/2014/Water-injustice-in-Palestine.pdf/view

[4] For more information read the report of the fact finding mission of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights:
www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/FFM/PR_FFM_31012013_en.pdf

[5] For more information :
www.foei.org/en/resources/publications/pdfs/2013/environmental-nakba-environmental-injustice-and-violations-of-the-israeli-occupation-of-palestine.pdf