As 2011 approaches, one Palestinian village appears stuck in the Middle Ages. Jub al-Dib, located in the section of the West Bank under Israel's jurisdiction, has no running water or electricity, and the authorities don't seem to care.
Some 160 people reside in the village, located just a few kilometers from the settlements of Tekoa and Nokdim, of them 75 under the age of 18.
But while the settlements enjoy all of the benefits of modern life, residents of Jub al-Dib light candles after the sun sets in order to provide children with light by which to study. They have no refrigerators or electric heaters, either.
Jub al-Dib has been asking Israel to connect it to electricity and water since 1988, but the appeals were rejected. "We have asked the electric company to hook us up six times since the year 2000 and it took them six months each time to give us a negative answer," says Hamza al-Wahash, the village head.
The Civil Authority has explained to al-Wahash that the village cannot be connected to infrastructure because it has no layout plan. The one it does have was rejected by the administration in 2009 for failing to adhere to its standards.
Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Noga Malkin says the village has three generators in all, which were donated by the Palestinian Authority, but that they remain off most of the time because the residents cannot afford petrol to fuel them.
"Despite our good will, we cannot connect a village without a proper layout plan because it is illegal, and as an official organization this is impossible," an official with the Civil Administration explained.
The administration added, however, that it was currently engaged in developing layout plans for villages in the Palestinian territories and that this may solve the problem.
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