The Municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli authorities are intensifying the pressure on Jerusalemites on all levels. So we see the demolition and sealing of Palestinian homes, the forced displacement of population, and high taxation. We also notice a plan to financially induce Arab East-Jerusalem schools to switch from the Palestinian curriculum to the Israeli one by tempting Arab schools with funds. East Jerusalem suffers from high school dropout rates, high unemployment rate of 31% and poverty rate of 76%. As we see, the Israeli authorities took all the means possible to reach its first goal in Jerusalem, which is the evacuation of its Palestinian population.
Hagihon, Israel’s largest municipal water utility delivers water to all East Jerusalem communities, except of Kafr Aqeb town. Kafr Aqeb and part of the Beit Hanina town are provided with water through the Jerusalem Water Undertaking (Water utility company in Ramallah). The price of cubic meter of water in all communities; except Kafr Aqeb and part of the Beit Hanina town is between 8-14 NIS, according to the Israeli water authority.
This study was conducted to study the impacts of water conditions on the livelihood of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The researcher relied on a number of methods. Literature reviews were analyzed, previous research published on this topic was collected, interviews were carried out, and a questionnaire was prepared to obtain feedback.
The study concluded that the current population for Jerusalem is estimated to be around 376067- people, and the number may reach more than that according to recent studies.
According to the survey, 45% of the respondents stated that the price of a glass of water is unacceptable and does not match the size of a typical household water consumption, 70% of them believe that the water they receive is good, 31.6% use means to improve water quality.
The study results showed the sustainability of water supply system in most of the communities except Kafr Aqeb town, which is being supplied with water according to a watering schedule held by the Jerusalem Water undertaking by which the water is delivered between three and four days per week. The study also revealed that 90% of the challenges facing the issue of water in East Jerusalem are caused by ancient water networks, pipes and infrastructure that cannot cope with the large population growth.
Water networks in East Jerusalem communities were constructed between 1965 and 1985.Where the network in Al-Issawiya was established in 1965 and in 1967 in Jerusalem, Beit Safafa and Sharafat. In Sur Baher and Umm Tuba, the network was established in 1972 and the most recent network returns to the town of Jabl AL-Mukaber where it was established in 1985.
According to recent statistics, only 59% of houses in East Jerusalem are connected to the water network regularly and legally. Most communities suffer from water theft.
Disruption of water supply leads to many social and economic problems, which cause family problems, tension and lack of hygiene. And the purchase of bottled water is significant and burden on the family especially if the disruption are frequent.
Finally, the researcher emphasizes the importance of conducting further studies which will demonstrate the needs of people in East Jerusalem, and the need to create modern databases which will include all the needed information related to these communities. It is also necessary to allocate support to Jerusalemites to work on the development and rehabilitation of the city's infrastructure.