In a wide-ranging speech to the Israeli Knesset by European Union Parliament President Martin Schulz, remarks concerning Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians drew uproar from members of the nationalist HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party led by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.
In comments criticizing Israel’s blockade of Gaza and policies in the West Bank, Schulz recounted how a young Palestinian recently asked him about Palestinian rights.
“One of the questions from these young men that moved me the most was: How can it be that Israelis are allowed to use 70 liters [of water] per day and Palestinians only 17?” Schulz asked, prompting HaBayit HaYehudi MKs to walk out.
Afterward, Bennett demanded an apology from Schulz over the “two lies that the Palestinians fed him.”
“Our national honor as the State of Israel isn’t mine or the ministers’. It belongs to all of the people of Israel,” Bennett said. “I won’t sit in the Knesset and hear a European, certainly not a German, saying such things.”
According to figures from the Israeli Water Authority, Palestinians received 100,000 liters of water per person in 2006, while Israelis received 170,000, the Jerusalem Post reported. While updated figures are not available, the Water Authority estimates that the gap has narrowed, with Palestinians now receiving more than 110,000 liters.