Israel using Gaza as waste dump

Sun Jan 9, 2011 3:19PM

A cesspool near the beach on the outskirts of Gaza City
While dumping parts of its wastes in the coastal sliver and hogging its water supplies, Israel has made it extremely difficult for Gaza to bring in waste disposal equipments.

Tel Aviv has been imposing a bottleneck on Gaza’s import route since mid-June 2007, thus almost preventing the transfer of equipment and materials needed for the water and wastewater-treatment systems into the enclave, a Press TV correspondent reported.

In 1967, when Tel Aviv occupied Gaza, the forces built three sewage treatment facilities there, which failed to treat most of the inflowing waste. The system was poorly modified during the 1980s.

Gaza, home to nearly 1.5-million Palestinians, is currently almost four times more populous than the 80s but still dependent on the system.

The already dysfunctional facilities were further damaged during Israel’s frequent incursions over the past four years.

The damage done to the wastewater-treatment facilities in the northern Gaza City during a December 2008-January 2009 war by Israel made some raw sewage find its way into the ground water sources, our reporter noted. The offensives also killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and inflicted a damage of above USD 1.6 billion on the strip’s economy.

Tel Aviv, meanwhile, continues to aggravate the problem by partially disposing of its wastewater in the Gaza valley. Israel’s all-out land, aerial and naval blockade, meanwhile, blocks the entrance of food, medical fuel and electricity supplies to the coastal sliver.

Gaza’s Coastal Aquifer yields more than 500 million cubic meters of water of which a little over a tenth is allocated to Gaza residents, and the rest is taken by Israel.

HN/PKH/MMN

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