Just Across from the Israeli Apartheid Wall…
Home to about 3,600 Palestinians in 690 households, Faqu'a is a small Palestinian community located on the far north-eastern border of Jenin Governorate. The residents of the village are not served by a water network. In the winter, rainwater is mainly used leaving a minimal need for tankered water, while in the summer the needs are exclusively met by sporadic resources. These resources include agricultural well, that has been found to be contaminated according to documented test results in the Village Council, and on Aba and Al Jalameh filling points which are both estimated to be about 12 km away for both domestic and agricultural purposes.
Following coordination efforts invested by the Water Scarcity Group under EWASH to define a request by PWA in the JWC for 9 filling points as an emergency response intended to serve the most vulnerable communities one of which was Faqu'a. On July 14, 2010 the Committee approved the request under the condition that Mekorot has a water source at the relevant location. A joint visit was organized between Mekorot and PWA to conduct field assessments after which 4 out of the 9 requests were rejected. Of these was the request for Faqu'a with an alibi that the closest Israeli water source to the village was 800 m away supplying Ma'ale Gilbou in addition to the presence of the Wall that impedes the installation of any new infrastructure. On the Israeli side green cultivated fields run right up to the border, irrigated by a sprinkler system with a washout line behind the Wall. The Wall in that area is in the form of a fence with not only one but two culverts that would easily allow a pipeline to be laid, ruling out the excuse of the Wall.
Ironically, the village was given its name in reference to its abundant water resources discharged by a number of springs and seeps that all lie within what has now been defined as Israel. Today the domestic consumption falls below 40 l/c/d while it has been reported that as much as 58 MCM is used for fish farming in the neighbouring Bet Shan historically known as Bisan area. Residents remain vulnerable to water scarcity relying on unreliable unsafe water sources. Households pay an estimated 11 NIS/m3 equivalent to 15% of the monthly household income. To date the issue of the filling point remains to be pending while PWA intensively follow up the issue with the Israeli Authorities.