New Nablus water pipeline gets clogged up

Israel's policy of cutting off contact with the Palestinian Authority has also interrupted the construction of a new water pipeline to Nablus. The IDF has ignored requests to meet the recently-elected mayor of the biggest city in the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post has learned. "Three weeks ago, I asked to meet with them," Mayor Adli Yaish told The Jerusalem Post. "They have not returned my calls. We need to talk to an Israeli officer to coordinate building the water pipeline that crosses through Area C." Israel is responsible for security and civilian affairs in Area C, and all infrastructure work or construction there must be approved by the military. IDF officials cited the government's recent decision to suspend contact with officials of the Nablus municipality and the PA who are Hamas members as the reason for the lack of communication. "As far as I know Adli Yaish is a Hamas member," said Shlomo Dror, spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, also known as the Civil Administration. "He was elected on a Hamas list. So from our point of view, he is a Hamas member. This is a terror organization from our point of view." Yaish, 53, claims that he is not a member of the movement. "I am not Hamas," he said. Prior to the actual policy change, the new pipeline had been approved by Israel's Water Commissioner, Shimon Tal, and on February 16 - two months after Yaish was elected and three weeks after Hamas gained a majority in PA parliamentary elections - Israeli and Palestinian counterparts signed the documents in Tel Aviv. "Of course it's important [to lay the pipeline]," said Uri Shor, the water commissioner's spokesperson. "It's drinking water that has to get to [Nablus]. We checked it, we decided and we gave permission. There is no problem." The new conduit, which was being funded by the German development bank KFW, would replace an eroding one that passes through liquid sewage water while bringing water from a well in Deir Sharraf, west of Nablus, to the city, said Yaish. "The old pipeline endangers lives," he said.