RAMALLAH, August 27, 2012 (WAFA) – Head of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) Shaddad Attili condemned Israel’s destruction of Palestinian agricultural wells in the Kufr Dan area, near Jenin, according to a statement by PWA on Monday.

The statement came following the Israeli military threat to destroy more wells in Jenin area if Palestinian farmers refuse to close down and destroy more on their own.

Attili described Israel’s demolition of Palestinian water infrastructure as a grave violation of basic Palestinian water rights, and said that it formed part of a broader campaign being waged by Israel to forcibly displace Palestinians from their land to facilitate ongoing illegal Israeli settlement expansion.

“Israel’s demolition of essential Palestinian water infrastructure is particularly concentrated in Area C and other areas of the West Bank that are under threat of confiscation for the purposes of illegal settlement expansion and the construction of Israel’s Wall. This is where some of the most vulnerable Palestinian communities live, and where the viability of the two-state solution is now being called into doubt,” Attili added.

He slammed the Israeli excuse of permits and ‘authorization’ as a way to veto and block essential Palestinian water projects and to stunt Palestinian development, stressing that Palestinians are not even close to being able to abstract the volumes of water allocated to them under previous agreements, largely because of Israel’s punitive permit regime.

Israel’s refusal to permit the construction of new Palestinian wells that are urgently needed, as well as its refusal to allow for the rehabilitation of old wells leaves some Palestinians with no choice but to drill wells without a permit, said the statement.

It estimated that water losses incurred as a result of Israeli restrictions on the rehabilitation of licensed Palestinian wells amounted to approximately 4 MCM/y.

Attili appealed to the international community to intervene to end Israel’s policy of deliberately targeting and destroying essential Palestinian water infrastructure, as well as he called on the U.S State Department, as chair of the Trilateral Water Committee, to act swiftly.

He further denied claims made by the Israeli Civil Administration that its latest destruction of agricultural wells in the Jenin area was carried out in coordination with PWA