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Israel still refuses to run water to Rawabi

In an interview with Al-Monitor, attorney Dov Weissglass deplores the ongoing Israeli refusal to connect the Palestinian town Rawabi to the water network, claiming that the refusal by Ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Silvan Shalom is politically motivated.
Palestinian labourers work on a construction site in the new Palestinian town dubbed Rawabi or "The Hills", near the West Bank city of Ramallah October 27, 2013. The crackdown on the Gaza Strip as Egypt demolishes the smuggling tunnels along its sandy border, and stagnation in the West Bank mean the Palestinian economy might shrink this year after average annual growth of about nine percent in 2008-2011. To match Analysis PALESTINIANS-ECONOMY/    REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS
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After nearly a year of foot-dragging, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai finally approved two weeks ago the connection of the new West Bank Palestinian city of Rawabi to the water supply system. For a moment, the entrepreneur behind the project, Palestinian-American billionaire Bashar al-Masri, who is a member of a wealthy Nablus family, was tempted to believe that the project of his life was saved from collapse. Masri invested practically his entire fortune in the new Palestinian city, and for a while, it looked like the threat of bankruptcy looming over the entrepreneur who sought to do good to his people had passed.

It turns out that the joy of Masri and the hundreds of Rawabi homebuyers was premature. While Mordechai approved the connection of the city to the national water supply system, his approval has been subsequently foiled by another Israeli knock-back that sealed off the taps even before they were opened. Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom decided, by virtue of his capacity as the official in charge of the water sector in Israel, to halt the connection of Rawabi to the water supply system pending the convening of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee (JWC), which has not met for five years.

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