Just the Facts: Natural Resources

  • Palestinians have been denied access to the Jordan River, their main surface water resource, since 1967.
  • 40% of surface water pollution comes from Israeli settlements in the West Bank Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, including settlements there.
  • 16 Palestinian communities are dependent on springs as their only source of drinking water.
  • Access restrictions to grazing land have undermined herding and agricultural livelihoods and increased the dependency on humanitarian assistance.
  • 30% of drinking water in Gaza is lost through network leaks.
  • Israeli quarry companies extract 17 million tons of West Bank stone annually, almost all for the Israeli market, despite prohibitions in international law against exploiting an occupied territory.
  • The transfer of Israeli industrial waste to treatment plants in the West Bank, without Palestinian consent, contributes to the environmental scarring of the occupied territory.
  • In Gaza, the collapse of the coastal aquifer is contributing to a significant health crisis among two million Palestinians.
  • There are 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas off the Mediterranean coast of Gaza, Israel and Lebanon. Palestine can access none of it.
  • As a result, the oPt is almost completely dependent on Israel for its energy and imports 100% of its petroleum.
  • Israel earns $3 billion each year from Dead Sea products, and its 15 hotels on the shore generate around $291 million.
  • Israel’s national water company, Mekorot, routinely cuts the water supply to Palestinians — sometimes by as much as 50 percent — during the summer months in order to meet demand in the settlements.
  • In Gaza, 95 percent of water is now unfit for human consumption due to pollution.
  • Combined Israeli restrictions on agriculture cost the Palestinian economy $2.2 billion each year.
  • The World Bank estimates that Palestine would boost its economy by $3.4 billion if it was able to exploit its own resources.

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