UNRWA highlights the problem without placing responsibility where it belongs – the Gaza Palestinians themselves once they assumed control of the Gaza territory. They are destroying their own water supplies, including allowing the digging of too many wells that drain water from the low water tables and not using a water treatment plant that Israel had left behind.
Because much of the southern half of Israel is desert and receives very little rainfall, Israel has had to use technical ingenuity to make up for this deficit and “make the desert bloom.” Israel is the world’s leader in wastewater recovery, with a water recycling rate of about 75 percent. Israel is also a world leader in the development of conservation measures, drip irrigation, desalinization, and water-efficient crops.
If the Palestinians were to foreswear violence and give up their fruitless jihad against the Jewish state, they may find Israel to be a willing partner in helping them to find ways to relieve the water shortage in Gaza. Jordan has followed that course. In addition to Israel’s agreement to transfer millions of cubic meters of water annually from the northern part of Israel to Jordan, the two countries have agreed to cooperate to alleviate water shortage conditionsby developing existing and new water resources, by preventing contamination of water resources, and by minimizing water wastage.
There is even one honest UN official, Ibrahim Thaiw, Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation, United Nations Environment Programme, who has recognized Israel’s generosity in sharing its knowledge with other countries. During a 2007 UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Thaiw stated that “Israel is the best example of a country that has managed to live with the desert. It is a noble gesture that you are willing to share your knowledge with other countries.”
The answer to the question “Will the Gaza Strip be Viable in 2020?” depends on the Palestinians themselves. United Nations Humanitarian CoordinatorMaxwell Gaylard and his UNRWA cohorts would do well to listen to Thaiw’s observations concerning Israel’s willingness to help others solve their water scarcity problems. These UN officials should urge the Palestinian leadership to seek a peaceful partnership with Israel that could result in technical assistance to help relieve Gaza’s water shortage rather than continue to engage in an endless war of terror. Instead, their latest report castigating an Israeli “occupation” of Gaza that does not exist enables the Palestinian victimhood culture, which blames everyone but the Palestinians themselves for their ownself-inflicted problems.
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