World Bulletin / News Desk
Thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Shu'fat refugee camp, which lies within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries, have lived without water for several days after an Israeli company cut off the water supply without providing any prior notice or justification.
"I've had no water for the past five days and I don't have money to buy any," Maher al-Sha'ar, a 55-year-old camp resident, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
"I have five children, in addition to my wife. Soon I will no longer be able to provide water for them," he lamented.
Khaled al-Khalidi, vice chairman of the Popular Committee in Shu'fat, said the problem had left hundreds of homes, clinics, health centers, educational institutions, associations and shops without water.
"Some 23,000 refugees and Palestinian citizens have had no water for the past several days," he told AA.
Al-Khalidi insisted that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was responsible for providing the camp with services according to a 1956 convention.
According to the UNRWA website, Shu'fat is the only camp in the West Bank that lies within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries.
Camp residents are entitled to carry Jerusalem identity cards, guaranteeing them residency rights in Jerusalem and making them eligible for certain Israeli social services, including healthcare.
All camps are linked to public water and electricity infrastructure, though not all are connected to the public sewage system.
The Ras al-Khamis, Ras Shihadeh and Al-Salam areas of Al-Quds all suffer from the the same problem.
Jamel Sanduka, chairman of the Ras al-Khamis development committee, said a complaint had been filed against the Israeli Gihon company through the Association for Civil Rights.
The association contacted Eli Cohen, the company's deputy director-general, who denied the existence of any water problem.
Sanduka said they had also contacted members of the Israeli Knesset to put pressure on the company to restore water supplies.
"What Gihon has done is collective punishment for the residents of the area," he told AA.
"They want to create a new reality and force people to receive services from the municipality of occupation," he said.
"And this will be addressed through all necessary legal means," Sanduka added.Last Mod: 08 Mart 2014, 09:23