A Palestinian fills tankers at a drinking water station in Gaza City, April 2016. (AP/Khalil Hamra) (AP/Khalil Hamra)
Gaza water

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas terror organization took their anti-Semitic propaganda to a new level by promoting an outrageous blood libel against the Jewish state, claiming that a rabbi in Judea and Samaria has called for the poisoning of Palestinian wells.

Anti-Semitic blood libels, such as accusing Jews of baking Passover matzos with the blood of Christian children, have incited massacres against Jews since the Middle Ages.

The current blood libel, propagated by both Hamas and the PA, alleging that Israeli “settlers” are poisoning Palestinian wells, also aims to incite attacks against Israel and, in particular, Jewish communities and individual rabbis in Judea and Samaria, whether through sanctions or violence.

“What is the international community waiting for to interfere; the death of thousands of Palestinians of thirst? To meet such incident with silence and ignore the war Israel is waging against Palestinians is a cause of shame for the international community,” the PA foreign ministry stated on its website.

The allegations, referring to “Rabbi Mlmad, chairman of the Council of Rabbis in West Bank settlements,” were published in a number of Palestinian media outlets.

There is no Rabbi Mlmad, and no council exists by that name. The Council of Rabbis in Judea and Samaria is led by Rabbi Yishai Babad.

“Mlmad” appears to be a misspelling of “Melamed” – a prominent Israeli rabbinical family, Arutz Sheva explains. “Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Chief Rabbi of Bet El and dean of Bet El Yeshiva, is among the foremost leaders of the religious-Zionist community; his son Rabbi Eliezer Melamed heads the Har Bracha yeshiva and is also a leading religious-Zionist scholar.

“Yet both rabbis denied having made any such statements, or anything similar, and told Arutz Sheva such a call would run counter to Jewish law. Rabbi Zalman Melamed branded the allegations a ‘blood libel.’”

Dr. Bassem Naim, Hamas’s former health minister, publicized the false claims, which he illustrated with a picture of United Torah Judaism Party parliamentarian Yisrael Eichler.

Last week, according to a Jerusalem Post report, the news site NRG posted a video of a founder of Breaking the Silence, an Israel-based NGO that publishes testimony against the IDF by anonymous soldiers, claiming that “settlers” had forced the evacuation of a Palestinian village by poisoning a well in the Southern Hebron Hills.

The NGO’s spokesman said he knew nothing about Jewish residents poisoning the water, which was reported in the Turkish state-run news agency Andalou, titled “Palestinians decry rabbi call to poison West Bank water.”

‘The Opposite is True’

Andalou did not respond to questions as to its sources for the story, the Post said.

“As for the claim Israel cut off water to the Palestinians during Ramadan, which UK newspaper The Independent and Al Jazeera reported last week, the opposite is true,” the Post continued. “Mekorot national water company increased the water supply in evening hours during Ramadan due to greater demand, plus an additional 500 cubic meters to the Bethlehem and Hebron districts. Mekorot only supplies about a third of Palestinians’ water, and the rest is self-supplied.”

Furthermore, “a pipe burst the day of the Independent report, and was fixed within hours by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).”

“Any effort to connect the disruptions with terror is mistaken and misleading,” a statement by COGAT read. “Given the failure to develop infrastructures as a result of the unwillingness on behalf of the Palestinians to convene the Joint Water Committee, there are problems in the water supply. The teams of the Civil Administration work tirelessly in order to ensure regular water flow.”

By: United with Israel Staff
With files from Arutz Sheva and The Jerusalem Post