Why Israel, Palestine And Jordan Are Rallying Around A Single Cause

Photo retrieved from: www.alternet.org

“Fathi Huweimel leans carefully over the edge of a jagged slab of broken asphalt, peering down into a 60-foot-deep crater that was level ground just yesterday. All around him sprawl the ruins of Ghawr al Hadithah, once a farming village in central Jordan but now a jigsaw of broken houses, shattered roads and abandoned tomato fields growing wild amid the massive holes pocking the earth. To the east, the village gives way to desert fringed by stark, sere mountains. To the west, a few hundred yards away, lie the glimmering waters of theDead Sea.

“We’ve had about 75 holes open up in the last two years,” says Huweimel, a thickset man with a broad mouth and deep brown eyes who has lived all of his 45 years in the area. He works as a field researcher with Friends of the Earth-Middle East, an environmental organization. “Everyone is leaving,” he continues. “Those who stay are staying because they have no choice.”

The holes first started appearing in the 1980s, but the pace at which new ones open up has increased dramatically in recent years. Miraculously, no one has been killed by a cave-in yet, though there have been some close calls. A group of seven women — including Huweimel’s aunt — were harvesting tomatoes together one day when the ground collapsed with a roar just 2 meters in front of them. A small salt factory that employed about 100 people was evacuated before it collapsed.

The cause of all this destruction is water — or, rather, the lack of it. The ground is collapsing into sinkholes because the water beneath it is retreating. And the water is retreating because the Dead Sea, a storied feature of the landscape since at least biblical times, is drying up.”

Read more: Alternet

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