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New chapter begins in Israel-Palestine water dispute

After a suspension of seven years, the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee is reconvening, but will Palestine finally get a fair share of water?

RAMALLAH, West Bank — After a seven-year hiatus, the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Water Committee (JWC), established under Article 40 of the 1995 Oslo Accord, resumed its meetings May 16. A new mechanism was developed to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure projects — such as supply lines, tanks, water and sewage networks, water pumping stations and treatment plants — in many Palestinian areas in the West Bank.

The JWC reconvened in execution of an agreement signed Jan. 15 between Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, and Palestinian Authority Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, with the participation of the heads of the Israeli and Palestinian water authorities.

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