The guidelines on the division of water between Israel and the Palestinians were established in Oslo B in September 1995, Article 40 of the Protocols on Civilian Issues (Attachment 3). The guidelines establish that Israel shall use 80% of the mountain aquifer and the Palestinians, 20% (there are 8.5 million Israelis, and about 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinians will continue to use 118 million cubic meters where they were already extracting, and they will also extract from new non-used wells of the eastern mountain (an additional 70-80 million per year). The Palestinian Authority needs about 200 million cubic meters of water per year. At present, it extracts 87 million from existing wells, where Israel used 118 million, so they could extract an additional 70-80 million from the eastern part of the aquifers. The problem is that Palestinians do not carry out effective maintenance engineering work. Besides that amount, Israel sells the Palestinians 55 million cubic meters at a price below production costs, and lower than what Israelis pay for the service (20% less). In the Gaza Strip (where there are no Israelis), Palestinians could easily duplicate the available amount of water without Israel’s aid. If Palestinians would build a desalination plant on the coast of Gaza (totally financed by the international community), they would increase the amount of available water in 60 to 100 million cubic meters per year. If they repair the leaks, treat and recycle water and adopt drip irrigation, they could duplicate their water as well. In synthesis, if instead of launching rockets at Israel they would worry more about their civilian population, they would solve the issue.
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