American Consul General Michael Ratney visited the USAID-funded Deir Sha’ar pipeline on September 9. During his visit, the Consul General was briefed on the importance of the $16 million, 11.5 km pipeline, which will benefit 550,000 people when operational and flowing at full capacity. Consul General Ratney noted the enormous benefit that this additional water will bring to the daily lives of Palestinians, as well as to businesses and industry in the southern West Bank region.
Consul General Ratney also visited Hebron University, where he spoke to President Ahmed Awtaneh and visited a laboratory in the Department of Agriculture funded by U.S. public diplomacy and Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grants. Consul General Ratney praised Hebron University and President Awtaneh for the important work they are doing to educate future generations, and he noted the valuable partnership the U.S. has forged with the University to train students.
Consul General Ratney was given a tour of the South Hebron Hills and a briefing on the challenges facing Area C residents by COMET-ME, an Israeli-Palestinian NGO that provides basic water end energy services to off-grid Palestinian communities in Area C. The Consul General met with villagers in Shaab el Butum and observed the positive impact that these small-scale, off-grid renewable energy installations have on the lives of local Palestinians.
For more information please contact the U.S. Consulate General’s Press Office at 02-622-6908 or 02-622-6909