Residents of the Israeli 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 itself was built on land owned by the village. The pipe, which carries water to the village of Dair Al-Hatab east of Nablus, 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 Israeli Kibbutz Movement’s Special Assignments branch. “The little kids pee in the water, which flows straight into the taps of a Palestinian school.” The small swimming pool was built at the settlement’s picnic site, which is located about a kilometer from Dair Al-Hatab and on the village’s lands. “The settlers of Elon Moreh behave like landlords on our private land,” said Ja’far Shtaiyeh, deputy mayor of the neighboring village of Salem. The civil administration has issued a demolition order for the picnic site following complaints by the Palestinian residents, and said that the order would be carried out in the coming days. Benny Katzover, one of the settlement’s leaders in Elon Moreh, which was built on lands of Dair Al-Hatab, Salim, and Roujib in 1979, said in response that the pool in question was merely a small hole dug near an archaeological site which travelers visit. He claimed that the water came from a small spring near Elon Moreh which streams to the village. “The spring water does not constitute the village’s main water supply, because the village has been connected to Mekorot (the Israeli national water company) for many years. The fountain’s water is used as drinking water for 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.
The other side of the coin:
Residents of the Shomron town of Elon Moreh have accused extreme-left activists of deliberately damaging Arab property in order to create conflict. They also say Ynet (Yediot Acharonot) has refused to correct its libel.Benny Katzover, a senior founder of Elon Moreh, spoke with Arutz-7 and recounted the events leading up to what he says are attempts by left-wing activists to sully Jewish residents' good names and create conflict with the neighboring Arab village. The village in question, Dir el-Hattab, was hooked up to the Israeli water utility thanks to Katzover's own initiative as mayor of Elon Moreh. Recently, Jewish youth who refurbished a park area within Elon Moreh's municipal boundaries set up a small pool, connected to the water line leading to the village. The pool did not disrupt the flow of water to the village until somebody began cutting the pipe flowing toward the village. A resident of the town recently photographed leftists as they damaged a water pipe leading to a nearby Arab village. Elon Moreh residents argue that the leftists were hoping to lead the Arabs to think that their Jewish neighbors were destroying their water supply. After destroying the pipe, residents said, the leftists reported the incident to Yediot Acharonot, which published an article accusing the Jews of Elon Moreh of harassing local Arabs and stealing their water. "They were more than happy to publish a half-page story on how we abuse our neighbors without an ounce of research," Katzover said. He added that the leftists were led by Kibbutz Movement chief Yoel Marshak, infamous for his involvement in claims that Arab olive trees were destroyed by Jews, when in fact they had been pruned by their owners and left-wing activists. With 'friends' like this among us, who needs enemies?