Water shortage in Gaza could turn into an environmental disaster

Water shortage in Gaza could turn into an environmental disaster
Date: 19.10.2023 09:00

Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences Department of Political Science and International Relations Doctor Lecturer and Hydropolitics Expert Seyfi Kılıç, warned that Israel specifically targeted Gaza's infrastructure, and that environmental problems such as sewage problems and air, soil and water pollution could extend beyond national borders.

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While the humanitarian crisis deepened after Israel's decision to cut off water, electricity, food and other basic services to Gaza, which it has been bombing since October 7, operations that are closely related to public health such as water, sewage and garbage cleaning cannot be carried out due to the lack of electricity and fuel supply, The fact that more than 1000 corpses in the rubble of collapsed houses pose an epidemic threat has also brought up a possible health and environmental disaster.
While sewage water flows into the streets, the people of the region cannot access clean drinking water and are struggling with water and food shortages in the shadow of the bombardments.
In the statement made by the Palestinian Ministry of Internal Affairs in Gaza, it was stated that there was a serious crisis in drinking water in the Gaza Strip and the people had to resort to unsafe water.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) pointed out that clean water in Gaza is almost exhausted and that the people of the region are forced to use dirty water from wells, which increases the risk of water-borne diseases.
Israel's use of white phosphorus, which is prohibited by international law in areas with dense civilian populations, in Gaza also raises concerns about health and environmental disasters.


Answering the AA reporter's questions about the environmental dimension of Israel's ongoing attacks on Gaza, Kılıç warned that water pollution caused by the infrastructure damaged as a result of the attacks could primarily cause epidemic diseases.
Kılıç stated that the groundwater drawn from the Israeli-occupied West Bank is transferred to the national water network through the Israeli water company Mekorot and sold to the Palestinians at high prices, and this situation causes great inequality for the Palestinians.
"Since the Palestinians do not have a state and it is an occupied zone, Israel draws that water unilaterally. Palestinians do not have the opportunity to drill their own water wells, they have to buy them from the Mekorot company. The Mekorot company, in order to support Israeli settlers in particular, gives them much more affordable prices and sells it to Palestinians at a very high price," Kılıç said.
Kılıç explained that, due to the dense population in Gaza on the seaside, a very high amount of groundwater has been withdrawn since the early 2000s, and as a result, sea water mixed with fresh water and became salty, and made the following evaluations:
"There is a terrible humanitarian situation. Even before the attack, there were already problems in accessing sufficient, clean and healthy water. Around all these attacks, Israel especially hits the infrastructure. The attacks carried out by Israel are aimed directly at destroying the city of Gaza, without making any distinction between civilian and military targets, and as far as we can see, their plans are like this. In order to depopulate Gaza, at least the north of it, most of the people will be deported towards Egypt and the Sinai. The migration of such a large number of people from one place to another in a very short time creates problems that lead directly to genocide."
Stating that the infrastructure in Gaza, which has been attacked and not fully functioning since 1948, has suffered much greater damage with the recent events, Kılıç underlined that major health problems may occur as the bodies left in the rubble of the destroyed buildings as a result of the attacks begin to decompose after a certain period of time.


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