Oxfam International accused of illegal construction in West Bank
According to the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank, an unnamed international NGO was involved in constructing a Palestinian water-siphoning system, which illegally diverted water from “the main authorized Palestinian water supply.” Despite warnings “that they were partaking in an illegal construction project” and harming Palestinian residents in the area, the NGO refused to end its project. As a result, the Civil Administration was forced to demolish the structure.
Regavim, an Israel-based right-wing NGO, claimed Oxfam International was the organization in question. Oxfam official Michael Bailey denied that his group participated in these illegal activities. He expressed concern “about the impact … on the Palestinian farmers,” but ignored the theft of water issue.
Oxfam’s ideological bias was evident in a December 28 statement “West Bank water struggles,” which blamed Israel alone for water shortages and claimed, without providing evidence, that “water is not being distributed fairly.” Similarly, the October 2009 Amnesty International report, “Troubled Waters – Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water,” minimized the effects of intra-Palestinian water theft.