US envoy announces landmark water deal between Israelis, Palestinians

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Jerusalem, July 14 (IANS) The US special envoy for the Middle East announced on Thursday that an agreement has been signed between Israelis and Palestinians to build a canal between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, which includes selling about 33 million cubic meters of water annually to the Palestinian National Authority.

At the press conference with Israeli minister of regional cooperation, Tzachi Hanegbi, and the PNA director for water, Mazen Ghuneim, the former noted that the Red Sea-Dead Sea project is “the biggest and most ambitious project event initiated and exercised” in the area, Efe reported.

Hanegbi explained that the deal is part of a larger five-year plan for the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, although Palestinians are expected to start receiving water before that time.

Meanwhile, Ghuneim stressed that 22 million cubic meters of water will go to the occupied West Bank, with another 10 million to Gaza.

He added that this will alleviate and reduce the suffering of the Palestinian people, which has worsened during the summer.

US envoy Jason Greenblatt explained that this agreement, which is also expected to benefit Jordan, is the second major deal to be closed during his visit to the region this week, after Israel and the Palestinians signed another on Monday to start up a power plant in Jenin.

The special envoy welcomed these agreements, which he said were backed by US President Donald Trump, who has said it is a priority to reach a final agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

–IANS

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