Readers no doubt recall that last month the BBC’s chief international correspondent produced a series of reports for radio, television and the corporation’s website on the topic of the construction project in Rawabi – all of which gave the impression to BBC audiences that the problems concerning the new city’s water supply were Israel’s fault.
As we noted here at the time:
“At no point does Doucet clarify to her audiences on various platforms that the Joint Water Committee (JWC) is a product of the Oslo Accords – signed by the representatives of the Palestinian people. Those same accords stipulate that the Palestinian Authority is responsible for the water supply in Areas A (where Rawabi is located) and B.
Whilst she does tell audiences that the JWC “hasn’t met for years”, Doucet refrains from informing audiences why that is the case, avoiding any mention of the fact that the Palestinian Water Authority suspended cooperation in 2008 as part of a political strategy and with no interview or comment from that body appearing in any of her reports. Hence, audiences remain ignorant of the fact that the committee which must convene in order to approve the water pipeline to the new Palestinian city is hobbled by the Palestinian Water Authority and Doucet makes herself party to the Palestinian politicisation of water issues.”
The JWC has still not convened but the go-ahead was given for Rawabi’s water supply to be connected at the end of February – some three weeks after Doucet’s reports appeared – and residents are now expected to move in around May.
Since the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office’s announcement that the Israeli Water Authority would connect Rawabi to its grid despite the Palestinian Water Authority’s continued refusal to convene the JWC, the BBC has failed to produce any follow-up reporting on that topic.