In the wake of the April publication of the World Bank-funded feasibility study of the Red Sea – Dead Sea canal (see Update 85), a coalition of 19 Palestinian organisations and three experts have rejected the plan and described the participation process as a “mockery”. In a late October open statement, the groups wrote: “Throughout the process, the Bank has systematically turned a blind eye to Israeli violations of Palestinian water rights. The Bank repeatedly and deliberately ignored key concerns expressed by Palestinians since the project’s inception and during the ‘consultation’ meetings in severe breach of its very own code of conduct, as well as the project’s terms of reference.”
They demanded that the “Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestine National Authority honour their aspirations for self-determination and justice by voicing a clear, loud and unequivocal ‘No!’ to the Red-Dead Sea scam. This project can only result in further damaging and undermining Palestinian water rights and all cooperation with it should cease immediately.” In August Jordan confirmed it would commence work on parts of the project, but has yet to officially approach the Bank for financing towards the projected $1 billion needed for the whole project.