Official denies agreement with Israel on Dead Sea project
Published Wednesday 04/07/2012 (updated) 05/07/2012 00:54
The World Bank study examines reversing the environmental degradation
of the Dead Sea by transferring water through a canal from the Red Sea.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian official on Tuesday contradicted an Israeli minister who claimed the Palestinian Authority and Jordan had retracted its opposition to a project to replenish the Dead Sea.
Israeli vice premier and minister of regional development Silvan Shalom told Israeli newspaper Maariv on Monday that the PA and Jordan had removed their objections to the Red Sea – Dead Sea water conveyance project.
In 2005, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority sent a joint letter to the World Bank requesting a study to investigate the feasibility of reversing the environmental degradation of the Dead Sea by transferring water through a canal from the Red Sea.
Maariv reported the Israeli ministry now expects initial plans to be ready in two months, and a joint announcement would be released soon after all sides agreed to the World Bank's study, which was released in 2008.
But the head of the Palestinian committee of the Dead Sea-Red Sea project Shaddad al-Attili said Tuesday that they "have not reached agreement as differences have not yet been resolved."
"In fact, all we agreed on was that the World Bank would continue with the study, and each of the three beneficiaries will still have the right to comment on the study or oppose it," al-Attili said in a statement.
"There have been no disagreements between the Palestinian and the Jordanian side," he added.