In early March 2014 Hagihon, Jerusalem’s water utility company, stopped the regular supply of running water to several neighborhoods in north-east Jerusalem, namely: Shu’fat Refugee Camp, Ras Khamis, Ras Sh’hadeh and Dahiyat a-Salam (literally: Neighborhood of Peace), which have all been isolated from the rest of Jerusalem by the Separation Barrier. Some homes in these neighborhoods have been completely cut off from the water supply; others receive water intermittently; and as for the rest, the water pressure in the pipes is so low that the water does not reach the faucets. As a result, an estimated 60,000-80,000 Palestinians – mostly permanent residents of Israel – have been left without a regular water supply. The residents spent three weeks in making repeated applications to Hagihon and to the Jerusalem Municipality, seeking to have running water restored. When their requests went unheeded, on 25 March 2013, ACRI petitioned the High Court of Justice seeking to have the water supply renewed without delay.
The fact that tens of thousands of people have been cut off from the water system is but another outcome of the severe and ongoing neglect of the residents of Jerusalem neighborhoods separated by the Separation Barrier from the rest of East Jerusalem. The construction of the barrier and the isolation of these neighborhoods have led to a state of neglect even more severe than that endured by east Jerusalem neighborhoods for decades.
On 2 April 2014 the Court instructed the State to respond to ACRI’s petition within 60 days, setting the deadline for the first week of June. In the meantime, the residents of these neighborhoods have no regular running water.
For further information on ACRI’s website, click here.