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Israel and Palestinian Authority agree on historic water deal
Life in Israel
Israel and Palestinian Authority agree on historic water deal

US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt announced on Thursday that Israel and the Palestinians had reached an agreement concerning the long-discussed Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal, whereby Israel will each year sell 33 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinian Authority to relieve the water situation there.

Greenblatt, at a press conference in Jerusalem with Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and PA Water Authority head Mazen Ghuneim, said this agreement and an accord signed on Monday between Israel and the PA that will significantly increase the power supply to Jenin are examples of how the two sides can cooperate to improve Palestinian living conditions.

According to a senior official in the Palestinian Water Authority, Israel agreed to start selling the water to the PA by the end of the year, which is long before the project – expected to take five years to construct – is completed.

The US envoy, who arrived earlier this week for discussion with the Israelis and the Palestinians, said that President Donald Trump has “made clear that working toward a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is a top priority for him.”

Hanegbi said that negotiations over the deal have been going on for months, and that there are two lessons from the process that can be taken forward.

One lesson, he said, is that “when you focus on the issues, not history or background or emotions or other disturbing elements, the common denominator is bigger than what separates us.”

The second lesson is that the more discreet the negotiations, the better chance they have to succeed.

The Red Sea-Dead Sea project has been under discussion for years, with Israel, Jordan and the PA signing a memorandum of understanding regarding the agreement in December 2013.

 Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Thursday, July 20, 2017
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