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Israeli-Palestinian water pact raises hopes, suspicions

Israelis and Palestinians have reached a water supply agreement, though some worry such economic deals might become a poor substitute for a true peace settlement.
Brine water flows into the Mediterranean Sea after passing through a desalination plant in the coastal city of Hadera May 16, 2010. An Israeli consortium unveiled the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant on Sunday in Hadera, hoping to help alleviate the arid country's water shortage.   REUTERS/Nir Elias (ISRAEL - Tags: ENVIRONMENT POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR2DYHU
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel have reached a tentative water-sharing deal with the help of the United States. Though officials expect a final agreement within weeks, some Palestinians worry the pact will give Israel more leverage over them and say they are already entitled to the water.

US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt recently brokered the deal under which the PA will be able to buy 32 million cubic meters (26,000 acre feet) of water yearly from Israel’s desalination stations in the Mediterranean Sea. The West Bank will receive 22 million cubic meters for 3.3 shekels ($0.92) per cubic meter, and the Gaza Strip will receive 10 million cubic meters for 3.2 shekels per cubic meter. 

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