fbpx
Middle EastScience

The Weaponisation of Climate Change in Palestine

The effects that climate change will incur on the Palestinian region are not only an environmental issue but an issue that requires a deeper look at Israel’s tactical geopolitics that has put Palestine at risk of being disproportionately affected by climate change.

Advertise on TMV

The effects that climate change will incur on the Palestinian region are not only an environmental issue but an issue that requires a deeper look at Israel’s tactical geopolitics that has put Palestine at risk of being disproportionately affected by climate change.

It is important to acknowledge that the dominion Israel has forcefully established over Palestinian land has subsequently stripped Palestinians of the right to manage, not only their land, but their water resources. 

This is important to consider as building resilience to climate change-induced effects largely involves changing the way in which land and water are used. More specifically developing new techniques to preserve the fertility of the soil in order to support vital crops to grow. 

Water is an incredibly important resource used in agricultural practices, in recent times there has been a call to ensure the sustainable use of water as vast amounts are required to enable crops to thrive. During Israel’s occupation of Palestine, Israel has used water from aquifers on Palestinian land in an unsustainable way by digging many deep wells and pumps.

Consequently, drying out the water basins, leaves little to nothing for Palestinians in need of water to sustain their own livelihoods. The lack of access to clean water is a reason why many people globally move out of areas, an action which benefits’ Israel’s political ambition of taking Palestinian land for themselves. 

The Israeli water company, Merokot, is largely responsible for the systemic drainage of water bodies in the west bank region in order to supply water to Israelis within Israel and also those residing in illegal settlements.

Israeli authorities have taken ownership over most water sources and have made it almost impossible for Palestine to create new water installations. In order to do so, a permit first needs to be obtained by the Israeli army, a permit which allows for the digging of wells and installation of pumps, a permit which is incredibly difficult to obtain, leaving thousands of Palestinians desolate. 

Short, Medium, and Long Term Responses to Help Palestine

The geographical location of Palestine means that the area is susceptible to desertification, and the warm climate has been exacerbated by climate change, particularly global warming caused by the ongoing effects of greenhouse gas emissions. The depletion of water resources in Palestine by Israeli water companies has only accelerated the rate at which desertification occurs.

Desertification has detrimental effects on the environment, as it degrades the land, stripping the soil of its fertility, making the land arid and dry and impossible to grow crops on. In a country such as Palestine, where the locals rely heavily on agricultural production, draining the region’s water sources and accelerating the occurrence of drought is equivalent to destroying a human being’s necessities to survive. 

Taking away Palestine’s water sources has long been on Israel’s political agenda, as a former prime minister of Israel once said, “Perhaps if we don’t give them enough water they won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.”

Given Israel’s reputation on the global stage of sustainable development, it is no doubt that the Israeli ministers have an understanding of desertification and water scarcity and how climate change has accelerated these. It is also important to note that number six of the United Nations sustainable development goals is clean water and sanitation for all, goals that have been acknowledged by the Israeli government.

By continuing to deprive Palestinians, especially those in Gaza, of clean water, they are complicit in destroying livelihoods and making thousands of Palestinians at risk of being disastrously affected by climate change.

Looking at the actions the Israeli government and military have taken over the last century, it would be no surprise that Israel is using the effects climate change is having on the water-scarce region of Palestine to their benefit. The damage these effects are having on Palestine’s livelihoods supports Israel’s genocidal policies over the Palestinians.


Sources

Amnesty International. 2017. The Occupation of Water. [online] Available at: <https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2017/11/the-occupation-of-water/> [Accessed 7 April 2022].

Butmeh, A., 2019. Palestine is a climate justice issue. [online] Aljazeera.com. Available at: <https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2019/11/28/palestine-is-a-climate-justice-issue> [Accessed 7 April 2022].

Haaretz.com. 2017. Israeli prime minister after Six-Day War: ‘We’ll deprive Gaza of water, and the Arabs will leave’. [online] Available at: <https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-pm-in-67-we-ll-deprive-gaza-of-water-and-the-arabs-will-leave-1.5465942> [Accessed 7 April 2022].

Sustainabledevelopment.un.org. 2019. Israel .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. [online] Available at: <https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/memberstates/israel> [Accessed 7 April 2022].

Related

Latest

Latest videos

Menu