(JTA) — The European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to work together to rehabilitate the Jordan River.
The resolution passed last week marks the first time that the parliament of the European Union has called upon the leaders in the region to address the state of the Jordan River.
It called the river "a cultural landscape of universal significance which has great historic, symbolic, religious, environmental, agricultural and economic importance in the Middle East and beyond." The measure also said that Israel, Jordan and Syria have diverted an estimated 98 percent of the river’s freshwater resources.
The resolution called on Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to establish with the support of the European Union a Jordan River Basin Commission. It also stressed that "the issue of water management, and particularly the fair distribution of water in keeping with the needs of all the people living in the region, is of the utmost importance for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East."
It said that "the Palestinian population in the West Bank faces serious water shortages," and "Palestinian farmers are seriously affected by the lack of water for irrigation, which stems from the use of most of the water in question by Israel and by Israeli settlers in the West Bank," and that "the availability of sufficient water resources is essential to the viability of a future Palestinian State."