Israel to destroy West Bank village's only water source

Israel to destroy West Bank village's only water source
2 min read
19 June, 2016
Israel had promised no demolitions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but now with these latest plans, the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal will be deprived of a vital resource.
An Israeli bulldozer arrives at in the West Bank, February 2016 [AFP]
Israel is planning to destroy a West Bank village's only water holding tank, cutting off a vital supply to the homes of 20 Palestinian shepherd families in the northern Jordan Valley.

Accoring to Haaretz, Israel intend to carry out the move despite the territories' coordinator of government promising to international agencies that demolitions would pause in Ramadan. The Civil Administration, however, says that the shepherds' water tank was built illegally.

The structure in question collects water from a natural spring, which is then guided into a plastic trough by a rubber hose that is several metres long. 

By destroying the facility, Israeli authorities will deprive the shepherds of Umm al-Jimal of a vital resource used to sustain themselves and their herd of around 700 sheep and goats, 300 cows and several horses.

The village's Arab community is also concerned that the destruction of the holding tank will block the spring, as it was previously obstructed when a flood destroyed a similar construction.

Israeli authorities were granted the final go-ahead to carry out the demolition when an injunction to cease work and destroy the tank was granted in spring of 2012. This injunction was not implemented at the time of its issuing.

In this recent development, the community of Umm al-Jimal was given three days to submit their concerns to the Civil Administration.

Residents of the village are still unaware about whether the Palestinian Authority has submitted its reservations on time, or whether the demolition will begin in the coming days.