The Post reports on the dire situation in the Gaza Strip, where fresh water is “a scarce commodity” and where recurring electricity crises are not helped by the fact that “damage from the Israeli bombing of the [Gaza power] plant in 2014 has yet to be fully repaired ».
The article quotes Robert Piper, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, who warns that the latest severe electricity crisis could help unleash a “perfect storm” that results in a Gaza Strip that is fundamentally uninhabitable – a conundrum, no doubt, for the two million people that reside there.
The Post continues: “When looking at the larger picture of the crisis, Piper was clear that the primary cause is the restrictions on the freedom of movement of goods and people through the three crossings into the Strip, which have made a viable economy impossible.”
And while the West Bank may not lie on the direct path of the perfect storm threatening Gaza, the territory is hardly exempt from repression and plunder.
There, Israeli-imposed water hardships have ranged from prohibitive fees for Palestinian communities to drastic supply cuts to outright theft of Palestinian water for use in hydrating illegal Israeli settlers and filling their swimming pools and other accoutrements.
In an email to me back in 2013, West Bank-based environmental expert Alice Gray highlighted some additional clever Israeli manoeuvres in the area, such as “preventing Palestinians from building sewage treatment plants… and then prosecuting them under international law for cross-border pollution ».
The previous year, an Oxfam briefing paper titled “On the Brink” noted that “water cisterns used by Palestinian farmers to collect rainwater are frequently demolished by the Israeli authorities, further limiting their ability to grow crops ».
In other words: when it rains it pours.