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Gaza water crisis worsens under Israel blockade: Report

7 September 2015 19:20


Water problem in the Gaza Strip is deteriorating following three destructive wars and eight years of Israeli-imposed blockade, with Palestinians saying they can no longer drink, cook or wash with the water, a report says.

According to a recent UN report, over 90 percent of Gaza’s water is undrinkable and the Palestinian territory has only one source of fresh water that is a coastal aquifer beneath the ground and shared with Israel and Egypt.

The document by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also said that Gaza will become uninhabitable by the end of the decade in 2020.

“We can’t drink it, cook with it, or wash in the kitchen with it… we are forced to buy all the clean water separately,” RT quoted a Gazan woman as saying.

Mahmoud Elkhafif, UNCTAD’s special coordinator for assistance to the Palestinian people, said the latest Israeli war on Gaza in summer 2014 led to the “destruction of some of the infrastructure, the water holes and the pumping stations were [heavily hit.] More than 50 percent of the water infrastructure could not be accessed.”

The RT report further said that the water coming into homes is also full of carcinogenic nitrate whose level increased after Israel’s 2014 bombardment of sewage pipes and clean water pipes.

A January report by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) also confirmed that over 95 percent of the Palestinian territory’s aquifer is polluted with high levels of nitrate and chloride due to the Israeli blockade and frequent attacks.

The Israeli regime puts tight restrictions on the entry of water treatment equipment into the blockaded territory allegedly for security reasons.

“Gaza suffers a catastrophic issue with water quality and water supply. And it’s a shame on the world that they are still watching this,” Elkhafif said.

Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, resulting in a situation that has caused a decline in living standards, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

The coastal strip has already been through three Israeli wars since 2008.

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