JERUSALEM, February 2, 2011 (WAFA) – The United Nations Monday condemned Israeli demolition of West Bank water cisterns, according to a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination on Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Jerusalem.

OCHA has joined with the Palestinian Water Authority in condemning the continuing demolition of water cisterns in areas of the West Bank which are under full Israeli control.The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory Maxwell Gaylard, said: “It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind the destruction of basic rain water collection systems, some of them very old, which serve marginalized rural and herder Palestinian communities where water is already scarce and where drought is an ever-present threat.” He said that “the removal of such critical infrastructure places serious strains on the resilience and coping mechanisms of these communities, who will become increasingly dependent on economically unsustainable sources such as tankered water. Such deliberate demolitions in occupied territory are also in contravention of Israel’s obligations under international law.”In 2010, OCHA recorded the demolition of 27 water cisterns and other rain water collection systems in the West Bank.