This research deals with the issue of theft and illegal access to water, where the Palestinian water sector is exposed at the regional and local levels to water theft. At the regional level, the Palestinian side shares with the Israeli occupation four groundwater basins, three in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the transboundary surface waters of the Jordan River Basin. At the local level, the water sector is being used and illegally obtained by some citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The research focused on Regional Water Theft and Local Water Theft. In order to determine the amount of water gap allocated between the two sides as well as the comparison between the volume of individual consumption to highlight the lack of fair use between the two sides, which violates the resolutions of the United Nations in addition to the principles of international water law.
For the section on the theft of local water was collected through the water balance of all municipalities in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where these data were obtained from the Water Sector Regulatory Council in the city of Ramallah and through this water balance, the amount of stolen water was calculated for each municipality and its percentage of the total water provided by the municipality.
The research also designed a special questionnaire addressed to water experts in Palestine and contains important questions divided into two sections. The first is questions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the theft of territorial waters and are the international water law principles apply on the Palestinian-Israeli situation, and the second section contains questions on the issue of water theft locally to draw the views of water experts on this subject and derive their recommendations that can be relied on to reduce this phenomenon.
The importance of this study is to show the Israeli practices regarding water as a basic human right and its violation of the signed agreements as well as the principles of international water law, where this study showed a big difference in consumption between the two sides and the settlements that embezzle Palestinian water rights. In addition, this study highlights the importance of confronting local theftswhich will increase the financial losses of the water sector and service providers and thus have a far-reaching impact on the Palestinian water sector.