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Dutch Water Company Severs Ties With Israel Over West Bank Operations

The largest public water company in the Netherlands has severed ties with Israel’s national water company over its operation in West Bank settlements.

Vitens in ceasing cooperation with Merkorot said in a statement Tuesday on its website that it “attaches great importance to integrity and adheres to international law and regulations. After discussions with stakeholders, the company came to the realization that it is extremely difficult to work together on future projects since they cannot be separated from their political context.”

The Dutch company reportedly also consulted with the Dutch Foreign Ministry. Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation, canceled a visit this week to Mekorot, the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reported, according to Haaretz.

Last month, Vitens signed a cooperation agreement with Merkorot to develop several joint projects.

Vitens provides water to 5.4 million people in the Netherlands.

Mekorot provides some water to the Palestinian Authority, but has been slammed in the Dutch media and by the government for drilling for water in the West Bank and for what they say is discrimination against the Palestinian Authority in its water supply.

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