Hura residents furious at water cut-off

Residents of the Beduin town of Hura in the Negev responded furiously to their local council after they claimed that council employees cut off water supplies to 150 families because of thousands of shekels of payments in arrears accumulated over the course of 15 years. "They cut off my mother's water because she needs to pay approximately NIS 100,000 in back payments for water and arnona," said Hani Abu Sharb, a Hura resident. "She hasn't paid her bills because she receives just NIS 800 from the National Insurance Institute and with that she has to pay a NIS 800 mortgage," he explained. Families in the town said Wednesday morning that they had been living for almost three weeks without running water. "They cut off the water to my mother, and they're going to cut off mine as well, because I also have a debt," said another Hura resident. "I went to the council to try to reach an agreement with them because I live on insurance benefits. They don't want to reach any agreements with me," he said. The Hura Council said that water was cut off to only 15 families, and will be restored as soon as they pay off their debt. "I know the difficult financial circumstances in our area and of those families whose water was cut off. Most of them are capable of paying off their debts, but simply refuse to do so," said Kadir Abu Lejan, the council spokesman.