Israel is denying Palestinians their fair share of water by blocking projects to improve water supplies, Amnesty International has alleged.
In a new report, the human rights organisation claimed that Israel is using over 80 per cent of the water from the mountain aquifer in the West Bank, depriving local Palestinians. It is the only water supply to the West Bank.
In the 112-page report, Amnesty claimed that Palestinians used 70 litres of water a day, compared with the Israelis who use 300 litres.
Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s researcher in Israel, said the situation was even worse in Gaza.
She said: “The water situation in Gaza has reached crisis point with 90 per cent of the water supply contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
This scarcity has affected every walk of life for Palestinians. Donatella Rovera
"This scarcity has affected every walk of life for Palestinians. A greater amount of water has to be granted to them.
"Water is a basic need and a right, but for many Palestinians obtaining even poor-quality, subsistence-level quantities of water has become a luxury that they can barely afford."
The report blamed the Israeli government for refusing to grant permission for the Palestinians to build their own wells, and said Israeli soldiers often destroyed locally built wells.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said the report was "completely ludicrous" and blamed Palestinians for not investing in their own water supplies.
He denied that Israel had denied permits for water infrastructure projects, stating more permits had been granted than projects actually built.