Residents of the settlement of Elon Moreh in the West Bank have cut a pipe carrying drinking water to a nearby Palestinian village, and are using it to fill a small swimming pool located at a picnic site, which was itself built on land owned by the village.
The pipe, which carries water to the village of Dir al-Khatab, was rerouted in order to fill the pool. The pipe channels fresh drinking water into the pool and drains dirty water back into the village's water system.
"They not only use water that doesn't belong to them, but they also pollute the drinking water of some of the village residents," said Yoel Marshak, head of the Kibbutz Movement's Special Assignments Branch. "The little kids pee in the water, which flows straight to the taps of the Palestinian school."
The small swimming pool was built at the settlement's picnic site, which is located less than a mile from Dir al-Khatab and on the village's lands.
"The settlers of Elon Moreh behave like landlords on our private land," said Jafar Shatai, deputy chairman of the neighboring village of Salem.
The Civil Administration has issued a demolition order for the picnic site following complains by the Palestinian residents, and stated that the order would be carried out in the coming days.
Benny Katzover, one of the community leaders in Elon Moreh, said in response that the pool in question was merely a small hole dug near an archeological site where travelers visit. He claimed that the water came from a small fountain near Elon Moreh which streams to the village.
"The fountain's water does not constitute the village's main water supply, because the village has been connected to Mekorot (the national water company) for many years. The fountain's water is used as drinking water for the sheep and goats, and as backup in case the water supply is interrupted. No one has blocked the channeling of water to the village," he stated.
Zvi Zinger contributed to the report