Riyadh, November 23, 2023, Arab water ministers have strongly denounced the actions of Israeli occupation forces, characterizing their aggression against the Palestinian people and the disruption of essential services such as water and electricity to Gaza as a "dangerous war crime against humanity." This firm condemnation was articulated in the concluding statement of the 15th session of the Arab Ministerial Water Council held in Riyadh, which brought together Arab water ministers along with representatives from various regional and international organizations.
During the two-day session, the ministers deliberated on the severe consequences of the Israeli aggression, particularly its widespread destruction of vital infrastructure in Gaza, including water, fuel, electricity, and sewage facilities.
The statement squarely placed the blame on Israel for the current dire circumstances in Palestine, highlighting the devastating impact of its aggression on Gaza, resulting in a substantial loss of life, injuries, and extensive damage to water and electricity infrastructure. Such actions were deemed a blatant violation of international humanitarian law and established conventions.
The ministers' statement explicitly condemned the Israeli occupation forces for their collective punishment of Palestinians in Gaza through the deprivation of essential water and electricity services. These actions were characterized as dangerous war crimes against humanity, with expressed concern over the escalating death toll due to thirst and disease.
In response to the critical situation, the council urged the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid, with a primary focus on providing fuel to Gaza. This, they emphasized, is essential for ensuring the continued availability of water for the Palestinian population in the strip.
Furthermore, the statement called upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel, the "occupying power," to immediately cease its aggressive actions and relentless bombardment of Gaza, as well as its disruptions to water, electricity, and fuel supplies, actions deemed in direct contradiction to humanitarian laws, principles, and values.
The council's appeal extended to the international community to mobilize support to secure basic humanitarian services, particularly water and sewage, for the Palestinians in Gaza. This urgent call recognizes the necessity of addressing the dwindling per-capita share of water in the enclave and underscores the collective commitment to alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the region.