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Israel, Palestinians Reach Landmark Water Deal

Israeli desalination plant (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

As Stand for Israel reported yesterday, American representatives are in the Holy Land in hopes of kickstarting the peace process. The Times of Israel's Raphael Ahren writes about the latest harbinger of hope - a U.S.-brokered desalination project between Israel and the Palestinians that will run a water pipeline from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea:

Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Thursday announced an agreement that will provide millions of cubic meters of drinking water to the Palestinians from a desalination process.

While the Palestinians made plain that the deal, brokered by US President Donald Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt, has no impact on final-status issues in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Greenblatt hailed it as a “harbinger of things to come.”

At a joint press conference in Jerusalem, Greenblatt adamantly refused to take any questions regarding his bid to relaunch peace negotiations

The agreement announced Thursday is part of a larger trilateral agreement for the construction of a 220-kilometer (137-mile) pipeline transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea — the lowest body of water on earth — to benefit Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, and replenish the dwindling Dead Sea. As the water runs down the gradient it will be used to generate electricity that will also power a desalination plant to produce drinking water.

“As we all know, water is a precious commodity in the Middle East,” Greenblatt said. “The US welcomes the agreement reached by the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel, which will allow for the sale of 32 million cubic meters of water from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. In addition, we hope that the deal will contribute to the healing of the Dead Sea and that will help not only Palestinians and Israelis but Jordanians as well...”

Tags: US-Israel Relations , Israel , Palestinians

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