Contrary to Indy charge, Israel INCREASED water supply to Palestinians during Ramadan (Updated)

The latest smear against Israel in the British media involves a distortion used repeatedly by mainstream media outlets, NGOs and pro-Palestinian propagandists: the charge that Israel cruelly uses water as a weapon against innocent Palestinian civilians, denying the population an adequate supply.

However, even by the levels of inaccuracy we’re accustomed to, the following headline and photo at The Independent represents an especially egregious example of agitprop being sold as ‘real news’:

indy photo


Though there is much in the article (by Peter Yeung) that’s misleading or inaccurate, we’ll focus on the most sensational charges.

We’ll get to the charge in the headline soon, but, to start, here’s the broad charge in the opening sentence:

Israel has cut off the water supply to large areas of the West Bank, Palestinian authorities have claimed.

Though an updated Indy version of the story noted COGAT’s response regarding a temporary shortage (a couple of hours) due to a burst pipe line, COGAT (the Israeli authority in the territories) has informed us (in a series of emails) that the Indy did not publish the most relevant information. COGAT explained that, due to increased usage during the summer months, Mekorot (Israel’s water carrier) was forced to reduce the overall supply to ALL areas of the West Bank – including in Jewish communities. 

We sent an email to Mekorot, who then confirmed to us the increased demand during the summer months has resulted in shortages in the West Bank “to Israeli settlements and Palestinian areas“.   A resident in an Israeli community in Samaria who we spoke to confirmed that the shortages have indeed affected Jewish communities.

Now, here’s the charge in the article which was the basis of the headline:

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have reportedly been left without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting, at a time when temperatures can exceed 35C.

This is, at best, extraordinarily misleading. 

We’ve been in touch with COGAT, who told us that, in order to accommodate Palestinians during Ramadan, when Muslims can’t drink water during the day, “the water supply has been increased during night-time in order to meet the needs of the residents”.

COGAT additionally noted to us that, beginning at the start of Ramadan, on June 6-7,  “the water supply to Hebron and Bethlehem [was] expanded [by] 5,000 cubic meters per day in order to meet the needs of the residents“.

So, to clarify, in summer months, the consumption of water naturally increases. 

The water carrier can’t keep up with this increased consumption, so residents (both Muslims AND Jews) experience a shortage.  Quite simply, the demand exceeds supply. 

However, to make up for this shortage and, most importantly, to address the changing water needs of Palestinian Muslims during the holiday of Ramadan, Israel INCREASED the amount of available water to the Hebron and Bethlehem communities, and INCREASED the amount of available water during the night, the time when religious Muslims will need it the most.

So, the Indy’s charge that Israel malevolently “cut off water” to Palestinian Muslims during the month of Ramadan is pretty much the opposite of the truth.

Here’s an alternative Indy headline, one which would more accurately reflect the facts.

indy pic


Mekorot just replied to a specific follow-up question we asked  late in the morning. As you can see, though it adds more details about the cause of the shortages, it’s fully consistent with the information we received from COGAT.  The issue (affecting both Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank) is one of supply and demand, not an arbitrary decision by Israel to reduce the amount of water for Palestinians on Ramadan.

Water consumption in the area has greatly increased during this period of the year and the water sources have decreased this year compared to last year due to the declining water level in the mountain aquifer, and therefore we have been compelled to reduce the water supply to all consumers.

34 replies »

  1. The Times has a similar article based on the statements of the Jenin mayor and Betzsalem

    • Israel Denies Cutting Water Supplies to West Bank (Al Jazeera)
      Israel’s national water company has denied cutting water supplies to the West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, utility company Mekorot told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
      The Israeli military coordinator in the West Bank said a pipe that supplies water to various villages had burst, causing a shortage of water.
      “Israeli civil administration teams spent hours repairing it. It was fixed, The water flow has been regulated since then and is currently up and running,” he said.

  2. Der Independent, Al Guardian and now also Der Times lie about Israel as a matter of course.
    It’s part of their manifesto.

  3. Anyone who wants to learn more about the reality of the water issue in Israel should read the fascinating book “Let there be Water” by Seth M. Seigel. It traces the way Israel has managed to use advanced conservation and technology methods to become a water exporter to the West Bank and Jordan.

    In fact, this slanderous article in the Independent proves the point.

    By claiming – lying – that Israel cut off water, it inadvertently shows that in fact Israel is supplying water to the West bank, not taking it from there.

    Here is a photograph of the burst pipe that had to be repaired that caused the problem:

    When a water pipe bursts in the area all the Independent’s readers live do they immediately assume that this was done to punish them? Or do they accept that sometimes thing break and need to be repaired before running to the international media to blame … Israel??

    • Considering the Independent’s anti-Israel readership would much rather blame Mossad than a clueless Israel bashing asshole for losing his shoe, I think you know the answer….

  4. Hmmmmm…. Islamist Shitstains attack Israelis and gays and others during Ramadan, but I’m not supposd to point out that it’s Ramadan because that would indicate these guys are fighting for Islam when in fact they are simply sick fucks who hate Jews and Gays and others….. Okay.

    Now there is a water pipe burst, but that’s too simple an explanation. We need to blame Israel, bring up Ramadan, discuss a death count. And, please whatever else it is that you do, don’t forget the headline!!11 NO ONE WILL READ THIS UNLESS OUR HEADLINE IS BALLSOUT CRAZY11111

  5. Just checkout the photograph at the top of the article.

    It shows kids in Khan Younis filling up- only problem is that this is located in the Gaza Strip -Khan Yunis is a city in the southern Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Khan Yunis had a population of 142,637 in 2007 and 202,000 in 2010 and 350,000 in 2012

    The Independent needs to gets its act together using a photo unrelated to the “West Bank”

  6. If I read about a character in a novel characterised as Israel is by Yeung and Carlstrom I would long ago have rejected the book as amateurish and limp.
    Surely they are aware that for evil to be credible you need some light and shade?

    They present Israel as a melodrama villain with no redeeming features, to the extent that even their most devoted fans, the most convinced antisemites, those possessed of any brains at all will realise that it’s all rather clumsy and overdone PR.

    Those who still believe their claptrap have no discernment at all and can safely be ignored

    • Not sure they can be ignored, Margie. Thick Jew-haters are still Jew-haters, and can and do cause harm to Jews. Case in point: Corrie.

  7. Well that’s just stupid.. Israel increase the water supplies during the Muslim month of fasting. When no food or drink is allowed to be consumed during the daylight hours… Anyone else see the irony.?

    • Only ignorant assholes see in this statement any irony. During Ramadan food and drink consumption in Muslim communities usually double of the average days. But knowledge of facts is not the forte of the so called “anti-Zionist” crowd.