As Jews living in Samaria suffer from an ongoing water shortage, MK Bezalel Smotrich has accused the army’s Civil Administration, which governs Area C in Judea and Samaria, of neglecting the needs of Yesha residents.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva about how water shortages have affected his hometown of Kedumim, Smotrich shared an anecdote from his son’s Bar Mitzva ceremony over Shabbat. Despite the searing heat, the family and guests enjoyed the Shabat Bar Mitzva without running water.
“It was a wonderful, joyous, uplifting Shabbat,” said Smotrich. “Our family is very easygoing on both sides. People took it well, and at the end of Shabbat we handed out souvenirs – bottles of water.”
“In truth, it’s a difficult situation. It’s a matter of years of neglect. Everybody knows about it. The responsibility lies in part with the Water Authority and in part with the Civil Administration, and part of it has to do with the joint water council established after the Oslo Accord has not met since the Arabs refuse to authorize projects for Jewish communities, so their projects go forward automatically while ours are stuck in limbo.”
As a member of the Finance Committee, Smotrich has pledged to use his influence to prod the Civil Administration to do its part in improving the water infrastructure, threatening to withhold funds if nothing is done.
“I notified [them] that tomorrow we will halt the transfer of funds amounting to 300 million shekels for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) until he comes and gives an accounting of [his agency in this matter]. We cannot have a situation in which more than 10,000 families are disconnected from water every weekend and the problem doesn’t get solved.”