The Stillborn Palestinian State

The reason why the Palestinian state in YESHA will be unable to survive is one short word – WATER. In order to simplify the explanation we shall look only into water problems in the Gaza strip. If the non-viability of Gaza can be demonstrated, it will be enough to substantiate the bankruptcy of the whole idea of the Palestinian state. In the Middle East the water resources are plummeting. If Israel and the West Bank are water-scarce areas, the situation in Gaza is already absolutely catastrophic today. Gaza’s aquifer is relatively self-contained, so its water inventory can be considered independently.

For its freshwater supply, Gaza relies almost entirely on groundwater drawn from its “aquifer, with minimal amounts obtained from other sources, such as rooftop rainwater catchments. Gaza’s aquifer is often only a few meters from the surface. It is also shallow, ranging in thickness from 120 meters near the coast to 10 meters in the east.” This limited water supply has been severely overused since the time when the territory was under Egyptian control. After Israel liberated this land, in order to prevent the deterioration of the situation, Israel categorically prohibited the unauthorized digging of wells.

However, after the transfer of water distribution to Palestinian Authority (PA) control the situation has gravely deteriorated. According to 1995 data “of the 3,000 wells thought to exist in Gaza, some 500 to 700 have been illegally drilled.” Since a complete inventory does not exist, one can only guess at how bad the situation has become during the last seven years.

Let us compare the Gaza strip with the adjacent Israeli coast. “The top of the Israeli coastal aquifer, which is analogous to the neighboring Gaza aquifer, is 3 to 5 meters above sea level.” At the same time, overpumping has reduced the Gaza aquifer to well below sea level and continues “to draw it down by 15 to 20 centimeters per year. This decline reduces the aquifer’s hydrostatic pressure, allowing the infiltration of saltwater from the Mediterranean and from saline aquifers below and to the east.” Already by 1995 “the saltwater intrusion had been detected as far as 1.5 kilometers inland.”

Gaza’s groundwater is generally classified as very saline, ranging “from 750 to 3,700 parts per million (ppm). Salinity increases an average of 15 to 20 ppm per year. The US standard for drinking water is 500 ppm, and water over 1,000 ppm is considered saline.” This level is also based on the assumption that the individual also has access to sufficient fresh water required to flush excess salts from the system. The rapid salinity increase of Gaza’s groundwater threatens the total salinization of the aquifer.  This will lead to total disaster since most groundwater there is already only suitable for use on highly salt-tolerant crops. Yet Gaza’s main agricultural export crop – citrus fruits – in addition to being water intensive cannot tolerate high salinity. It is not surprising that many orchards lie abandoned because the water salinity is too high.

Gaza’s outdated agricultural activity also adds chemical groundwater contamination to the problems of salinity. Since the aquifer is so close to the surface, unrestricted use of pesticides, herbicides, DDT, and other dangerous chemicals has contributed to severe pollution and made the situation even more catastrophic. This is exacerbated by the fact that at least 10% of Gaza’s population is not served by any wastewater management system, and it simply dumps raw sewage onto sand dunes.

According to one very optimistic analysis, “50% of Gaza’s drinking-water supply is murky, and 23% is not potable at all.” The Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem is far more pessimistic, considering “Gaza’s groundwater simply not fit for human consumption. A water survey conducted by this Institute in 1992 identified concentrations of several key substances far exceeding what are generally regarded as acceptable levels for potability.” 

A similar study by UNRWA and the Palestinian Health Authority (between 1987 and 1994) determined that “every one of Gaza’s 60 drinking water wells exceeded acceptable levels for at least two tested contaminants.”

Gaza’s drinking water is not spared from nitrate contamination either. If in1987, “84% of Gaza’s drinking water wells were considered suitable for drinking in terms of nitrate levels, already by 1994, not a single safe well remained.”

Not surprisingly, the contaminated water is a major source of various illnesses. While high nitrate levels and fluoride concentrations in the groundwater lead to increases in infant mortality, cancer, spontaneous abortion, ulcers, kidney failure, etc., the most prevalent and serious health problem in Gaza is infectious disease.  According to a 1994 article published in the Journal of Palestine Studies (vol. 23, no. 2), “75% of all clinic patients in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank suffered from infectious diseases, which were responsible for 74% of all childhood deaths.”

If the absolutely disastrous picture described above is insufficient, the dispassionate language of numbers unequivocally proves that the world community’s maniacal desire to establish a Palestinian state in YESHA will lead to the creation of nothing but a corpse-state. After substantial research, the Swedish hydrologist Malin Falkenmark identified one thousand cubic meters per person per year as the minimal “water barrier” for agricultural and industrial development. She defined this barrier as “the level of water availability below which serious constraints to development will arise.” This number in Gaza at the current population level is less than 50 cubic meters per person per year and will reach the single digits in two decades.

There is no need to spend additional time discussing the only slightly better water situation in the West Bank. It is enough to mention just a few key numbers. In accordance with the unofficial agreement developed in 1953-1956 by American Ambassador Eric Johnston, Israel and Jordan accepted the quotas worked out by him as a basis for dividing the waters of the Jordan River. Per the agreement, Jordan was to supply 70 to 150 million cubic meters (mcm) annually to the West Bank. However, Jordan reneged on the unofficial obligation and, not only has not supplied water there for over 40 years, but itself began to receive water from Israel. Under the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty the Jewish state agreed to annually supply to Jordan with 55 mcm. According to a 1998 Israeli government report the total amount of Israeli water being supplied to Jordan amounted to 75 mcm annually. This all means that Jordan can’t be expected to help the West Bank with water at a time when it desperately needs it for itself.

In summary, it becomes clear that, using the slogan of a Palestinian state in YESHA as a fig leaf, the world community is preparing a genocide. Planning to establish the corpse-state, mankind washes its hands of the problem, while shoving several million people into two disconnected tiny parcels of land totaling 2,268 sq. miles. With the current reproduction rates, by 2050 this area will turn into a human ant-hill, populated by 20,000,000 people. The lands envisioned for this corpse-state are not only lacking in any natural resources, but also characterized by catastrophically intolerable water scarcity. Among other things, this makes the development of agriculture and industry impossible, and guaranteeing flourishing diseases, epidemics and an exponential death rate increase.

The wretched people condemned to live in these terrible conditions will have only two options: either to keep dragging out a miserable existence in poverty disease, dying from thirst, or, before this happens, trying to expand their “lebensraum” by invading Israel, the envy of which already drives the whole Arab world crazy. The latter option will not only doom the corpse-state to destruction but could also lead to the disappearance of the Jewish state.

All of this means that the plan of “two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace with each other,” which is obsessively promoted at all levels by the world community, not only will NOT bring peace and prosperity to the region, but on the contrary will undoubtedly end up in a terrible conflagration of war, causing the deaths of so many people that previous Arab-Israeli wars will seem as a childish game. If the world community believes that the Palestinian Arabs are so special that they need a second sovereign state, in addition to the one they already have in Jordan, it must completely forget about the lands of YESHA, and search for a much more suitable place for this state.

Considering the current geopolitical situation, nothing appears as promising as granting them autonomy on part of the Iraqi lands after the dismantling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The relocation there of the Palestinian Arabs will be much more sustainable, and economically viable than other options and most importantly this solution will save hundreds of thousands of lives.

In the meantime Israel must IMMEDIATELY annex the lands of YESHA. They constitute an inseparable entity together with Israel proper. To steal them from the Jewish people is tantamount to the amputation of a person’s arm and foot. A person will perhaps survive the surgery, but the severed extremities will definitely not survive on their own. Though in the long run, this maimed person will perish too. When attacked by her enemies, Israel will be unable to protect herself.

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