Campaign launched against Portuguese water deal with Mekorot
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Campaign launched against Portuguese water deal with Mekorot

***image2***Mekorot, the Israeli national water carrier, signed a “co-operative” venture with EPAL, the Portuguese water company that serves 2.5 million consumers in the country’s capital and the south. The agreement claims to safeguard the Portuguese water system against “terrorist threats”, building on Mekorot’s alleged “expertise” in the area.

Mekorot, like many Israeli enterprises, is key in supporting and the apartheid policies, depriving Palestinians of water in favor of Israelis. Bedouin communities in the West Bank and the ’48, for example, are the subject of a campaign of ethnic cleansing wherein Occupation forces evict them from their homes, seize their livestock, and otherwise make life impossible. Water plays a key role in this; communities in the West Bank and the ’48 are cut off and denied access to the central water system, while the tanks that they use to store water can be confiscated or destroyed by Occupation forces.

The deal with Portugal has ramifications that extend beyond this particular contract. It serves as a launch pad for the company to sell its services to the rest of Europe, pumping millions of dollars back to the Occupation military apparatus. This money will inevitably be used to consolidate the criminal appropriation of Palestinian water aquifers. Already, 80 percent of water retrieved from the Mountain Aquifer, the only water source for West Bank Palestinians, is reserved for Israeli use. Somewhere between 180,000 and 200,000 Palestinians in rural communities of the West Bank have no access to running water, while in Gaza 90 to 95 percent of the drinking water supply has been contaminated with sewage and seawater and is now undrinkable.

The Portuguese Solidarity Committee (CSP) wrote a letter to EPAL protesting the agreement, but the company continued to defend the deal. In addition, EPAL sacked an employee that expressed dissent, an attempt to curtail freedom of expression inside the organization. Nevertheless, in light of European Union directives in the award of public contracts (2004/18/EC), the company is walking on thin ice and the deal can fall if the right public pressure is applied. Already the Portuguese media has expressed interest in the case.

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Demand that EPAL end its agreement with Mekorot NOW!

1 – Write a letter to EPAL and to the Portuguese Ministry of Environment exposing this shameless deal and demanding that EPAL breaks its agreement with Mekorot.

Please copy correspondence to:

Model letter (in Portuguese):
(you can also write in English)

EPAL board of directors: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Minister for the Environment Dulce Pássaro: