09/08/2011 23:17

Erdan says PA should creating desalination plants and sewage treatment facilities.
Talkbacks (4)

While the Palestinian Authority continues to rely on Israeli water and electricity sources to keep its residents powered and quenched, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said that he felt the PA “can have an infrastructure” if the authorities take more steps to implement basic needs, like creating desalination plants and sewage treatment facilities.

The Palestinians currently have much more access to water than any country in the Arab world – excluding Lebanon, as it has a large river – and huge strides have been made since 1967, Erdan said.

Meanwhile, Israel continues to supply the Palestinians with freshwater every year, 80 percent above what was required of the country in the Oslo Accords, and if the Palestinians would recycle their sewage water as Israel does with most of its own, the Palestinian water supply would be even greater, according to the minister.

“We told Palestinians we are willing to give them all the knowledge, but they insist on using fresh water and sending us sewage,” Erdan told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Wednesday. “We are giving them fresh water and getting back sewage.”

The minister was particularly worried that along with the building of the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, there will be no solutions for the household waste and sewage created in the process, and he said he has received no answers from the authorities there.

“I’ve been trying around the world to get help from places like the United Nations and the World Bank to pressure the Palestinians to cooperate because they are here to stay and we need to cooperate on basic needs – electricity, water,” the minister said. “They can have an infrastructure.”

As far as electricity goes, the World Bank is currently assisting the PA in developing its own resources, according to Erdan.