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West Bank water crisis hits hard in refugee camps



September 9, 2008

Bethlehem / PNN – The water crisis in the West Bank’s Bethlehem reached a new low on Tuesday afternoon. Aida Refugee Camp residents demonstrated in protest, demanding that water be pumped into the camp.

Palestinian security responded violently leaaving one youth shot and 10 other people injured from severe beatings in front of the Intercontinental Hotel on a main street near the camp.

Residents and reprsentatives of the Fateh movement met with Bethlehem Governor Salah Tamari later in the evening and demanded that President Abbas undertake an investigation. Among those in attendance was Issa Qaraqa', a former resident of the camp and Director of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, and current Palestinian Legislative Council member.

In northern Bethlehem’s Aida there has been no running water for a month. In neighboring Al Azzeh Refugee Camp dozens of families have been without running water for over 40 days. One Al Azzeh household had water in the taps today for the first time in over a month.

The problem is with both the Israeli occupation and with the Palestinian Authority. The only recourse that the demonstrators from Aida have is the PA.

Fateh-linked security poured onto the scene which was the main road through the city, Jerusalem – Hebron, named after the two cities it linked before the days of the Wall and the major checkpoints.

Clashes broke out between Aida Camp residents and the Palestinian police, most all of whom were fasting for the ninth day of Ramadan. Security forces broke up the demonstration and arrested several people.

Aida residents had been chanting in the streets demanding a change in the Water Authority and that water be pumped in. The refugee camp has had water in trickles throughout the summer, but a month ago the water stopped coming altogether.

Demonstrators called out to the Water Authority and the local media to highlight and solve the problem.

:: Article nr. 47108 sent on 10-sep-2008 17:55 ECT


Link: english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3508&Itemid=1

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