MSN News Promotes Anti-Israel Water Libel

MSN News (a Microsoft site) has compiled a photo slideshow of “Places around the world running out of water.” Unsurprisingly numerous Middle East countries feature with accompanying captions.

That Israel should be included is debatable given the fact that its water crisis has been alleviated thanks to desalination plants and effective water resource conservation. MSN News focuses only on the water level of the Lake Kinneret.

But how does MSN News explain or justify this?

The caption reads:

Israel reduces the flow of water to the country in times of stress. The crisis is further exaggerated during times of strife when water pipelines can get shelled and damaged. Israel also has discriminatory water-sharing agreements with Palestine.

Someone at MSN News has written a caption with some very serious libels. The allegations in the caption are false.

Israel certainly does not reduce the flow of water to Palestinians in times of stress. One can only speculate that, apart from the hateful claims of anti-Israel propagandists, this assertion by MSN is similar to a story that was comprehensively debunked by HonestReporting in 2016.

Israel isn’t even responsible for the flow of water to the Palestinians. This is the responsibility of the Palestinian Water Authority, which has, over a long period of time, refused to cooperate with Israel to upgrade and repair its leaky infrastructure in the West Bank.

As for the second MSN News claim that the “crisis is further exaggerated during times of strife when water pipelines can get shelled and damaged,” this is presumably referring to Israeli operations against Hamas in Gaza.

To be clear – Israel has not shelled Palestinian water pipelines and has not and would never intentionally damage Gaza’s water infrastructure. While there is undeniably a water crisis in Gaza, the JCPA notes, however, that it has been created completely by Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority before it.

MSN News also claims that Israel “has discriminatory water-sharing agreements with Palestine.” As NGO Monitor points out, water issues are dictated by the mutually agreed 1995 Oslo II Interim Agreement. In addition, COGAT (the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) told HonestReporting in November 2016:

In the previous years, the State of Israel has raised the water flow to the Palestinian Authority. Just last summer, 11,000 cubic meters of water were added to the water line leading to Bethlehem and Hebron, which is connected to a water pipe leading to the village of Jaba. It should be noted that starting from the connecting pipes, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for regulating the water.

Currently Israel supplies to the Palestinian Authority some 67 million cubic meters of water a year, which is a large amount of 30 million cubic meters about that determined in the Oslo Accords.

So the entire MSN News photo caption is simply misleading and false.

You can see more on the water issue on HonestReporting’s Conflict Over Water Resources page or our communique “HR Gets Leaky Water Story Fixed.”

Please send your complaints to MSN News through its Feedback form, making sure to refer to this link in your complaint – http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/photos/places-around-the-world-running-out-of-water/ss-BByAQ9J?li=AAggNb9pfr=1#image=15

 

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