Palestinian town in limbo

The World

This hilltop village is stuck in a grey area: outside the security barrier built by Israel but still administered by the Palestinian Authority, but also off the Israeli water and power grid, which causes basic problems like how to get rid of garbage. This man says when electricity goes out, waste water cannot go out so it just seeps into the water. Palestinians and Israelis are partners in the aquifer whether they like it or not, says this official. With help from local Palestinians, this Israeli official is helping engineer a wetland about the size of a tennis court. Once it’s flooded, the plants will naturally clean the town’s waste water. It’s low tech and needs little maintenance. The pool will start by serving ten hours in the village, but then expand for more. The Israeli official sees this as a solution for many West Bank towns and others across Israel. This Palestinian man says he’s not surprised the Israelis are helping out because both sides are affected by this problem. The biggest obstacle to the solution has been politics though, and studies show that building permits are hardly ever given to Palestinians.

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