Water contamination levels in the Gaza Strip have risen to an alarming stage due to the Israeli blockade and frequent attacks, Press TV reports.
According to a report released by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), over 95 percent of the Palestinian territory’s aquifer is polluted with high levels of nitrates and chloride.
The surface of Gaza’s aquifer has been targeted hundreds of times by the Israeli military in recent years.
Attacks on sewage treatment plants during the Israeli military aggression have resulted in raw sewage leakage into the ground, further contaminating the water resources.
This situation has forced Gazans to buy treated water from filtration stations.
Hundreds of trucks carrying filtered water roam the streets of the coastal enclave to provide people with safe drinking water.
“We sell clean and safe water to the people, because water all over the Gaza Strip is polluted. During the war there was an increased demand on the filtered water because of the Israeli bombardment of water supply lines,” a water seller told Press TV.
He added that people in Gaza “can’t drink or cook with that water because it is salty and tastes bad.”
Water treatment plants are incapable of providing drinking water to Gaza’s population of around 1.8 million due to a lack of fuel and electricity to operate them.
Israel also puts tight restrictions on the entry of water treatment equipment into the blockaded territory allegedly for security reasons.
Amjad Shawa, the director of the Palestinian NGOs Network, also said, “The main solution for Gaza water disaster is to end the illegal siege in Gaza and enter all the needed materials [and] equipment for the water projects in the Gaza Strip. We are suffering from the pollution and at the same time of the shortage of water in Gaza.”
Laboratory tests show that pollutants in Gaza water are three times higher than the normal level.
Experts say the Israeli blockade and attacks on water and sewage treatment plants have played a major role in contaminating Gaza’s water.
Years of Israeli blockade and frequent attacks have taken their toll on Gaza’s underground water.
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.