President Donald Trump’s international negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, Thursday announced an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) on a historic Red Sea-Dead Sea canal.
The deal involves the sale of 33 million cubic meters (1.2 billion cubic feet) of water to the PA to relieve water shortages.
During a press conference with Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Mazen Ghuneim, head of the PA’s Water Authority, Greenblatt said the water deal as well as an Israeli-Palestinian electricity agreement signed earlier this week would significantly increase the energy supply in the disputed territories, serving to improve Palestinians’ standard of living.
“Water is a precious commodity in the Middle East,” said Greenblatt, who added that cooperation between the parties will foster “economic improvement in the lives of the Palestinians.”
“Palestinians will benefit from agreements that provide key improvement in the areas of water and electricity,” he said.
According to the PA’s Ghuneim, the deal will see 10 million cubic meters (353 million cubic feet) of the water provided to the Gaza Strip.
Oded Revivi—chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, a coordinating body for municipal councils in Judea and Samaria—said, “We are very impressed by Jason Greenblatt’s ability to achieve a substantive agreement on water that will change people’s lives on the ground. We have long said that true peace must be built from the ground up, one step at a time.”
Greenblatt arrived in Israel July 9 to discuss the next phase of renewed U.S.-led peace efforts in the region. It is Greenblatt’s sixth visit to Israel in six months.