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'We want water' say Bethlehem area protesters

Palestinians in the Bethlehem area are protesting both the Israeli decrease in the available water supply and the Palestinian water authorities’ alleged lack of fairness in the distribution of existing water supplies.
Bedouin Falah Hedawa drinks water drawn from a rainwater collection cistern in the Rashayida area, in the desert between the West Bank town of Bethlehem and the Dead Sea July 25, 2011. The cisterns which dot the desert beyond Bethlehem, many of them restored to full working order in the last few years, have for centuries harvested winter rain to provide shepherds and their flocks with water through summer. Israel has demolished 20 cisterns in the West Bank in the first half of this year, according to the U.
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“We haven’t had water for nearly 40 days,” a caller to the Voice of Palestine radio station told the presenter of the show July 8. The caller lives in the picturesque village of Artas, southwest of Bethlehem, which is known for its fertile land and imposing monastery. Residents of the village are the latest victims of this summer’s extreme water shortage that has hit many parts of Palestine, but especially the Bethlehem governorate.

Not far from Artas, in the village of al-Khader, residents have taken to the streets to protest the water shortage. “We have decided to go out into the streets and protest,” Ahmad Salah, a Palestinian who spent years in an Israeli jail, told Al-Monitor.

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