Cairo: Cairo International Conference dedicated to discuss the water under occupation started with the presence of a large number of ministers and representatives of international, regional organizations ,as well as experts and specialists ,the Palestine water minster Eng. Mazen Ghoneim, who represented Palestine delivered a speech on behalf of the Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas "Abu Mazen".
At the beginning of the speech the minister thanked the Arab League and all its members, for their support of the Palestinian people who are struggling for their freedom and their independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem over the entire territory, occupied in 1967 and to reach a just solution for the refugee issue, according to UN resolution 194 as stipulated in the Arab peace initiative, he also expressed his appreciation for the Arab League for the efforts made to organize this conference, which comes in the framework of supporting vital sectors for progress and life.
Eng. Ghoneim explained that the Arab region faces today political issues that became difficult humanitarian disasters which annoys the entire international community, as well as the worsening water crisis in our country as a result of the intransigence of the occupation and its illegal procedures on the ground which is threatening the stability and the humanitarian situation in the region in general and in Palestine in particular, adding that we in Palestine are suffering from lot of challenges, but the Israeli occupation is the biggest and most dangerous one ,through its control over Palestinian land and resources and the continues violations for all the legitimate rights of our people, including human rights, in addition to impeding all efforts that enable us to have the basic requirements for life.
He add that the ambitions of this occupation expanded to the neighboring Arab states by controlling over the major water resources in the Jordan River and its tributaries , the Syrian Golan Heights and southern Lebanon, which is considered a violation of the Arab rights that lasted for decades, and it is a serious matter threatening security and stability in the region, therefore, this conference is to shed more light on this Dangerous situation ,and the worst water situation in the region, this requires to redouble our efforts and cooperate with all partners and friends to stop this colonial attitude towards the Arab water rights, particularly the right for free and secure access to water sources and stop the illegal exploitation for these resources.
He explained that the continuation of this situation without making any action, would lead to negative impact, so we are all called to cooperate and mobilize the Arab and international public opinion to defense our rights in the water through organized plans and programs at all levels, and focus on presenting a unified position on various international and regional forums , to protect one of the most important conditions for sovereignty over natural resources, and especially in our region, which is facing a growing poverty in water.
The minister Ghoneim said : water is the backbone of life for peoples in the earth, and is the mainstay of national development, and the cornerstone of our country that ensure its ability to grow and develop ,besides , it is a human and normal right for us and for the coming generations, and must be deviated from any disputes or conflicts, so our participation in this conference is to discuss this important issue, and to send our message to the entire world that Palestinian water issue which is considered the key to life for the Palestinians, cannot be controlled by the Israelis , as one of five issues kept to the final solution between Palestine and Israel ,with Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements issues, the Israeli occupation is still exploiting the issue of water hideously by procedures of deprivation and decreasing water supply according to its political agenda , as a result of controlling turning on and off the water supply for the Palestinian territories ,this policy have made millions of Palestinians feel that their lives is threatened .
Today ,we affirm that the recovery and protection of water rights is a top priority in the national leadership's agenda, as the action plan of the government is aimed at strengthening the steadfastness of our people and the development of their ability to survive and confront the Israeli occupation through the implementation of more development and steadfastness support projects, so our services can reach each inch of our land, especially the marginalized and the affected areas by the Wall and settlements, to be able to have sanitation service , safe and adequate drinking water ,as security and stability in our region, will not be achieved without an independent Palestinian state with stable national Security, which water security is considered a cornerstone in it, this necessitate the implementation of the international humanitarian law in Palestine and all conventions and treaties on human rights, particularly those related to the management of shared water sources, activating the cooperation between international partners with accordance to the principles of equitable distribution of water resources ,and applying the trans-boundary waterways UNWC 1997 treaty terms, which joins 37 countries, and Palestine joined it in December 2014, along with the Treaty of non-navigational uses of transboundary water to ensure the protection and recovery of water rights, and finally the provision of technical and financial support for The Palestinian water sector in order to implement the strategic plans Aimed at providing water and sanitation service for the Palestinian citizens, and to improve the situation in the Gaza Strip by supporting the implementation of the central desalination plant project.
minister Ghoneim concluded by reiterating that despite of the gloomy fact, particularly with regard to the idleness of the final negotiations as a result of Israel's continued policy about settlement and the confiscation of Palestinian land and the violation of all international conventions and treaties, tighten the siege in order to undermine the two-state solution and to impose unilateral solutions, we confirm our determine to work with all brothers and friendly countries to restore Arab rights, including our right to self-determination and to establish our independent state within the June 1967 borders ,in accordance to the international legitimacy and the Arab initiative decisions , referring to our justice cause that enhance our determination to create the future of our children, a future where the children of Palestine and the Arab nation live normally like other children in the world.