March 10, 2020 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact

 

Public health institutions insist that washing one’s hands frequently is an essential first step in confronting the coronavirus epidemic. But in the Gaza Strip, 98% of the water is contaminated. 

 

Israel’s bombardments of the Gaza Strip’s wells and water infrastructure have forced 97% of its two million residents to live without clean water for hygiene and consumption.

 

Hospitals have needed to reduce the cleaning and sterilizing of medical equipment and facilities. Staff can only wash their hands when it’s essential, not regularly when going from one patient to another. 

 

The hospitals are massively overcrowded due to Israel’s assaults on nonviolent protesters at the Great March of Return. Measles (124 cases including two deaths in 2019) and other highly contagious infectious diseases are appearing in the Gaza Strip. Waterborne diseases are spreading at an alarming rate.

 

Israel’s blockade has completely depleted 44% of essential medications in the Gaza Strip, and 46% are at less than a one-month supply. 

 

Source: WHOElectronic Intifada, Mondoweiss

 

 

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February 11, 2020 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact

 

This week, the Israeli military once again destroyed pipelines that supplied irrigation water to the West Bank village of Bardala. The village depends on agriculture for its main source of income. 

 

Bardala was already suffering water shortage, due to Israel’s refusal to provide it with more than 100 cubic meters of water/hr. (The necessary minimum is 240.) 

 

Before Israel’s occupation of Palestine, Bardala’s wells provided more than sufficient water.

 

In 1974, Israel and its water company, Mekorot, closed Bardala’s wells, demanded the village’s residents pay to receive water from their own springs, and built several deep wells on Bardala's lands for use by Israelis only.

 

In 2006, Mekorot further reduced Bardala’s water supply by 75%. 

 

In 2017, Israel bulldozed Bardala’s rebuilt water outlets and destroyed 168 meters of pipelines to farms.

 

A month later, Israeli soldiers shot at the village's peaceful Right to Water march of 500 people.

 

Sources

 

See our blog  for the article Trump to Palestinians: surrender and we’ll give you a pretend ‘state’ and water too.

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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January 28, 2020 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact

The Israeli navy regularly shoots at and arrests Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast and destroys and confiscates their vessels.

 

 

In 2019, 85% of fishermen suffered these violations. Israel opened fire 347 times and arrested and detained 35 fishermen, including three children. Nine of those arrested remain in Israeli prison. Israel wounded 21 people, confiscated 15 boats, destroyed 12 boats, and damaged 11 boats.

 

The Israeli authorities do not compensate fishermen for damages that occur during their seizure or while the boat is being held in Israel. Owners must forfeit their rights to compensation and release the Israeli military from responsibility for the damages.

 

Since 2000, the number of registered fishermen in Gaza has dropped from 10,000 to 2,000 actively fishing. The once prosperous fishing community (including 2,000 people working as vendors, equipment traders, and in boat maintenance) is now one of the poorest in Gaza. 95% of Gaza fishermen (and their 50,000 dependents) live below the poverty line—on less than $4.60 a day for food, housing, clothing, health care, and education. 

 

Sources: Middle East MonitorGishaReliefwebAlMezan

 

See the AWJP's website for the entire fact list and one-page factsheets about Israel's control of water in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and illegal settlements. Look at our blog for a report about the Scientists for Palestine conference.    

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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January 14, 2020 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact 

 

In the Gaza Strip this winter, about 235,000 people living in 39 low-lying areas are at risk of flooding from overflow of stormwater facilities and sewage pumping stations. They will experience an increase in waterborne diseases, and suffer property losses, disruption of livelihoods and services, and displacement. 

 

Israel’s blockade prevents access to tools and equipment to rebuild the water and sanitation infrastructure that it had bombarded and destroyed. 97% of the water in the Gaza Strip is unfit for consumption. 

This week, Israel opened one of the gates of its rainwater reservoirs east of Gaza, causing flooding of large swaths of Palestinian land, drowning hundreds of dunams of agricultural land and destroying barley, wheat, and other crops. These reservoirs prevent Palestinians from storing rainwater to irrigate their crops and fill underground wells.

 

 

Sources: UN OCHAOPCounterpunchMEM

 

See the AWJP's website for the entire fact list and one-page factsheets about Israel's control of water in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and illegal settlements. Look at our blog for a report about the Scientists for Palestine conference.

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

Facebook | Website waterjusticeinpalestine.org | Twitter @WaterPalestine

December 31, 2019 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact:

In the Gaza Strip, high levels of contamination in the water sources, and in products and food produced with that water, have increased the number of water-transmitted diseases, such as diarrhea, Type-A hepatitis, typhoid, dysentery, and parasites. Doctors are on the verge of announcing an epidemic.

Contamination comes from the inability to treat sewage, which leaks into the aquifer and runs into the sea. Every day, 43 Olympic swimming pools worth of sewage spill into the Mediterranean off the coast of Gaza. (Fishermen suffer from spots and cysts on their legs from contact.)

 

Contamination is a result of years of Israel’s bombardments and blockade of repair materials. The blockade also prevents access to medications.

 

In one hospital in the Gaza Strip, more than 600 adults are currently receiving kidney dialysis as a result of contamination and minerals in the water. The annual increase of patients with kidney failure is about 13%.

 

More than 50 children with kidney failure receive dialysis each day, a number that doctors say doubles or triples yearly. 

 

The shortage of potable water and inability to buy bottled water causes repeated urinary tract infections and dehydration.

 

Sources: Oxfam International video: Patient Gaza, Water Under SiegeOCHAOPCole 

 

See the AWJP's website for one-page factsheets about Israel's control of water in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and illegal settlements.

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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October 15, 2019 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact:

Israel regularly cuts off water to Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank. Families must buy trucked water that can cost 50% of their monthly expenditure. 

 

Israel’s destruction and refusal to allow repairs of the water infrastructure in the Gaza Strip forces residents (if they can afford it) to spend 30% of their wages on trucked water.

 

For economic reasons alone, a successful olive harvest is essential.

 

Some of Palestine’s olive trees are over 4,000 years old. About 12 million trees grow on 48% of Palestine's agricultural land. (Israel has destroyed about 800,000 trees since 1967.) 

 

The yearly Palestinian olive harvest and oil industry provide income for 80,000 to 100,000 families, employing many unskilled laborers and more than 15% of working women. 

 

A successful harvest could be worth $160 million to $191 million. But Israel’s policies reduce the farmers’ income by over $12.3 million every year.

 

The olive harvest takes weeks, but Israeli only allows Palestinians to harvest their olives for about three days. Restricted year-round access impedes essential ploughing, pruning, fertilizing, and pest and weed management, as well as storage and export of the products.

 

 

Last month, Israel's illegal settlers cut down 160 olive trees; damaged 100 trees; burned 70 trees; and uprooted 36 trees. Israeli soldiers shoot at farmers in the Gaza Strip.

 

Sources: arabamericathenationalhaaretzimemcimemcochaoptgulfnews

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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September 17, 2019 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact:

 

The Jordan Valley,  927-square-miles of the most fertile land in Palestine, comprises 30% of the West Bank.

 

After the 1967 war, Israel declared 60% of the Jordan Valley a military zone closed to Palestinians. There are now at least 18 illegal military outposts (7 of which were established after Trump became U.S. president).

 

The Jordan Valley holds some of the richest sources of water in the West Bank, including the Jordan River Basin and the Dead Sea, as well as numerous springs. But Palestinians are forbidden from digging wells or otherwise accessIing this water.

 

If Palestinians had access to these lands, it would increase their agricultural yield by $1.6 billion annually. 

 

The 12,000 illegal settlers who live there in 37 settlements have six times more water than the Palestinian residents. 

 

Palestinians have access to only 61 liters/person/day—or 20 liters for those not connected to the water grid—for leisure, livelihood, personal and household use, and agriculture. (WHO recommends 100 l/p/d.)

 

Israel continues to actively demolish Palestinian water pipes and wells, and further limit Palestinians’ access to water. Israel also does not allow Palestinians to visit or use the 26 nature preserves that it established on Palestinian land for the enjoyment of Israelis only.

 

Sources for fact: Democracy Now!AlJazeeraPeace Now

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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September 3, 2019 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact:

 

The Gaza Strip’s devastating water crisis and electricity shortage have forced its massively overcrowded hospitals to reduce the cleaning and sterilizing of medical equipment and facilities. Staff can only wash their hands when it’s essential and not regularly when going from one patient to another. 

 

Immense strain has been placed on the Gaza health sector as a result of thousands of casualties from Israel’s violent reaction to the ongoing Great March of Return peaceful demonstrations. Between March 30, 2018, and March 31, 2019, Israel’s military killed 277 people, including 44 children, 9 persons with disabilities, 4 paramedics, and 2 journalists.

 

Israel’s military wounded over 28,000 peaceful demonstrators and observers, including 2,886 children, 231 paramedics, and 212 journalists.

Gunshot from Israeli soldiers accounted for 210 of the fatalities and for 6,872 injuries.

 

Some 172 people were permanently disabled as a result of their gunshot injuries, including 36 children. The major cause of permanent disability was amputation, with 121 amputations recorded during this period.

 

Last Friday—in one day—at the 72nd Great March of Return, Israel’s military injured 94 civilians: 25 children, 2 paramedics, and 2 journalists.

With Gaza hospitals overburdened and lacking supplies, electricity, and water, patients who need specialized health care must go to more advanced facilities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel. Israel has the power to approve or deny them permits.

 

Since the Great March of Return began, Israel received 550 applications (from patients Israel had wounded) to exit Gaza to access healthcare. Only 17% were approved, 26% were denied, and 56% were delayed.

 

Sources: Palestine Center for Human RightsUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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July 23, 2019 WATER FACT FROM ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact:

In addition to the more publicized lack of water and uncontrolled sewage and rubbish caused by Israel’s bombardments of Gaza’s water infrastructure and its refusal to allow repairs, Gaza is suffering from other environmental disasters linked to the Israeli occupation and aggression against Palestinians.

The Israeli army regularly sprays herbicide on Palestinian arable land, damaging Palestinian crops and contaminating the soil and water. The chemical it uses most often is glyphosate, which has been proven to cause cancer.

Israel’s repeated bombardments of the Strip have contributed to pollution. Its use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus cause immediate harm to civilian populations AND remain a health risk long after the bombardment has stopped.

Israel’s weapons have contaminated the environment in Gaza with heavy metals such as tungsten, mercury, cobalt, barium, and cadmium, which are known to cause cancer, birth defects, infertility, etc.

In the West Bank, Israel is polluting Palestinian land by using it as a dumping ground for 80% of the rubbish generated by Israeli settlements. Israeli industries and the Israeli army are also known to discard toxic waste on Palestinian land.

Over the past few years, Israel has systematically moved polluting factories to the West Bank by designating so-called “industrial zones” that are permitted to release their toxic byproducts into the environment without regard to the wellbeing of Palestinians living nearby.

Source: Palestine Chronicle 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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June 11, 2019 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact

 

The 18,000 residents of Beit Dajan and Beit Furik, West Bank, have one source of water, a shared well. In recent years, the capacity of pumping water from the well dropped by more than half. People must rely on high-priced tankered water—in summer, they wait for more than a month. 

 

Although NGOs implemented a water network, after three months Israel destroyed the pipes.

 

The communities’ main source of income is livestock (over 25,000 sheep and goats), which consume about 75% of the water. 

 

Palestinians in the northern Jordan Valley once cultivated about 15,000 dunums of land. Now the area has shrunk 50%—from water scarcity, limited access to water, and the increasing allocation of water in larger quantities to illegal Israeli settlers.

 

Illegal Israeli settlers, who use 8 times more water per person than do Palestinians, farm over 100,000 dunums of West Bank land. This serves Israel as a cheap and easy method for expanding and cementing its control in the West Bank. 

 

Source: UN OCHAOPTB'tselem

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

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May 28, 2019 WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Fact:

 

In the first three months of 2019, Israel demolished 136 Palestinian structures in the West Bank—48 in East Jerusalem and 88 in Area C—a higher rate of demolitions than in the last two years.

 

 

7% of the demolished structures were water, sanitation, and hygiene related. 42% were residential. 38% were livelihood related.

 

In addition to the 218 people displaced (including 97 children), 25,000 people were impacted by the destruction of their water connections and wells. 

 

• All 18,000 residents of Beit Furik and Beit Dajan were affected when Israel destroyed a 750 metre-long water pipeline that supplied water to the villages. 

 

• 1,300 people in 12 other communities were affected when Israel damaged and confiscated two donor-funded water pipes.

 

• 320 people in the Palestinian Bedouin community of Wadi abu Hindi suffered the total destruction of their water pipes. 

 

• Between July 2018 and March 2019, Israel shut down 12 water openings in Bardala, gravely affecting the farmers’ livelihoods. Then in March 2019, Israel closed a water opening that irrigated 1,150 dunums, affecting 47 farmers. 

 

270,000 Palestinians in Area C are directly affected by Israel’s control of water- and sanitation-related infrastructure and networks. 95,000 people receive less than 50 litres/person/day (WHO recommends 100 litres/day). Over 83,000 people receive bad quality drinking water or must purchase expensive and unregulated water.

 

Source for fact: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs

 

 

Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine

Facebook | Website waterjusticeinpalestine.org | Twitter @WaterPalestine

May 14, 2019: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
Only 50.9% of households in the West Bank have daily access to water. In Gaza, only 30% of households receive a daily water supply, which often stops altogether during wartime. This means that the Occupied Palestinian Territories has some of the lowest per capita water availability in the world.
Palestinians will suffer the effects of climate change more severely than Israelis. Israel is well positioned to deal with climate change: it is the 19th least vulnerable country and the 32nd most ready country.
Decreased rainfall is expected to be the most significant effect on Palestine/Israel over  this century, accompanied by a significant rise in average temperatures. The combination will result in a higher demand for water.
Although international law says that Israel, as the occupying power, must meet the needs of the occupied population (this includes the guardianship of natural resources and prohibits the appropriation of property and the destruction and removal of agricultural areas, drinking water installations, and irrigation works), Israel—as it controls over 80% of water in the West Bank—forbids Palestinians from accessing water from rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, and reservoirs, whose discharge is expected to decrease significantly over the coming years.
Israel even denies permits to Palestinians wanting to capture runoff water in dams.
Source:  Climate Change, the Occupation, and Vulnerable Palestineal-shabaka

 

April 30, 2019: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
Recently, in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military attacked Palestinian schoolchildren with tear-gas bombs.
Late last year, Israel cut off all water supplies to the only school in the Palestinian West Bank village of Faroush Beit Dajan.
In the last four months of 2018, 111 Israeli attacks on students and schools in the West Bank affected more than 19,000 children and involved live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades.
Israel denies Palestinians permits to build schools, then demolishes schools built without permits.
In Area C (60% of the West Bank where the Israeli military has exclusive control over building), over a third of Palestinian communities do not have primary schools. An estimated 10,000 children attend school in tents, shacks, or other structures without heating or air-conditioning.
About 1,700 children walk five or more kilometers to school due to road closures, or lack of passable roads or transportation.
2,500 Palestinian students must cross Israeli military checkpoints daily. Half have reported army harassment and violence. Jewish settlers set up their own checkpoints and throw stones at children or push them around.
In Gaza, children are exposed to bacterial contamination through water in schools, which have one toilet per 75 pupils and one sink for washing hands per 130 pupils. 37% of refugee camp-based schools are surrounded by solid waste and stagnant water.
Yet the literacy rate in Palestine (96.3%) is one of the highest in the Middle East, and the illiteracy rate (3.7%) is one of the lowest in the world.
The Gaza Strip has an even higher literacy rate than the West Bank.
Source for fact: Middle East Monitor, palinfoHuman Rights WatchMaan, Rand

 

April 2, 2019: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
In 1967, when Israel completed its conquest of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights, it monopolized access to water, and forbade Palestinians to drill new wells or repair existing ones.
Levi Eshkol, then Israel’s prime minister, proposed a plan to expel the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians newly under military occupation: “If we don’t give them enough water they won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither.”
Palestinian agriculture declined. In 1994 it accounted for only 13% of the Palestinian GDP. Today it has been reduced to 3%.
In 1995, Israel took control over Area C, the 61% of West Bank land most suitable for agriculture. Israel and its illegal settlements took 80% of the water supply and allocated a mere 20% to Palestinians.
Half of the Palestinian wells have dried up. Now, only 6% of Palestinians’ cultivated land in the West Bank is irrigated. (Israel forbids Palestinian herders and farmers to collect rainwater.)
“Agricultural terrorism” by Israel’s settlers and soldiers have uprooted 2.5 million fruit trees and 800,000 olive trees and have poisoned Palestinian farms with raw sewage.
Last month, Israelis from an illegal outpost in the West Bank dumped the carcasses of 10 sheep and lambs into a Palestinian farmer’s well. The farmer must now bring in a costly generator and pump to extract the contaminated water, and a water tank to rinse the well repeatedly until it’s cleansed and disinfected.
Sources for fact: E. Hagopian, Electronic IntifadaElectronic IntifadaMeripMondoweissHaaretz

March 19, 2019: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE
In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development called for an observance of the crucial role that water plays in our everyday lives. March 22 was declared World Water Day. This year’s theme is “Leaving No One Behind.”
Israel uses water as a weapon against Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank and in Gaza.
In the Gaza Strip, Israel forbids the reconstruction and repair of the Palestinian wells and water infrastructure that it demolished during its four devastating bombardments since 2008. 98% of the water is unfit for human use. 95% percent of the Gaza Strip’s two million residents are without clean drinking water.
Bad water is a leading cause of child mortality in the Gaza Strip, where children are facing a deadly health epidemic of unprecedented proportions.
Babies are suffering from dehydration, vomiting, life-threatening diarrhea, and fever. In recent months doctors report sharp rises in gastroenteritis, kidney disease, anemia, pediatric cancer, marasmus (a disease of severe malnutrition), and “blue baby syndrome.” Medical journals document increased infant mortality and an “alarming magnitude” of stunting, which can affect brain development.
Diarrheal disease has doubled to epidemic levels and there are spikes in salmonella and typhoid fever caused by fecal contamination (110 million litres of raw and poorly treated sewage flows over land into the Mediterranean every day).
Source for fact: Aljazeera


The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine is joining the United Nations’s call for visibility and action on World Water Day, this Friday, March 22. If you are in the Boston area, join us at the BU Bridge from 4:30–6:00 p.m. We will have banners and signs. Feel free to bring your own signs that highlight other issues of water injustice. For more information, go to our website or our FB page, Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine.

March 5, 2019: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

Israel confiscates 82% of Palestinian groundwater in the West Bank for its own use, including its illegal settlements.
Last month, in two weeks, Israel’s military destroyed three water connections in the occupied West Bank that had supplied tens of thousands of Palestinians with drinking water. Two pipelines were funded by international donors as humanitarian assistance. One had been laid just two months earlier.
The water connections supplied running water to 18,000 people in two villages in Nablus, 1,200 people in 13 herding communities near Hebron, and 320 people in a Bedouin community in the Jerusalem area—all of which suffer from severe water shortages, especially in summer.
Through its water company, Mekorot, Israel develops infrastructure to supply water to its illegal settlements and outposts and their agricultural projects (dairy farms, greenhouses, and vineyards). Although pipes run very close to Palestinian villages, they are not allowed to be connected.
Recently, when one Palestinian village connected neighboring communities to its water pipe, Israel confiscated the pipe and cut off the water supply.
Palestinians in the area are forced to rely on rain water stored in cisterns or buy expensive tanker-delivered water. Israel regularly demolishes the water cisterns, claiming they were built without permits, even though they date back centuries. (Israel forbids Palestinians from digging wells.)
Source for fact:WafaB’tselemUN OCHA

February 7, 2019: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

About 750,000 Israelis currently live in the ever-expanding illegal settlements in the West Bank, roughly 11% of the total Jewish Israeli population.
These illegal Israeli settlers use six times more water than do the 3.1 million Palestinians in the West Bank.
Palestinian communities in the West Bank not connected to a water grid must live on just 10–20 liters/person/day—for all uses. Those connected to a water grid might receive 73 litres/person/day. (The World Health Organization’s minimum standard is 100/litres/person/day.)

Expensive, poor-quality tanker water often costs one-fifth of a salary.

Illegal Israeli settlements scattered throughout the West Bank consume as much as 700 litres/person/day—for domestic use (even more for swimming pools, lawns, etc.).
Developing new water access or repairing infrastructure that Israel destroyed is nearly impossible for West Bank Palestinians. Israel regularly denies permits, demolishes buildings and wells. And even constructing a small new water pipeline is hampered by the large water pipelines servicing the illegal settlements.
In 2018, in one day, for example, Israel destroyed—to expand or build new illegal settlements—three water systems, six homes, eight livelihood structures, and four solar-power systems. Eleven of those structures had been funded by the EU.
Sources for fact: UN humanitarian response report

December 2, 2018: WATER FACT FROM THE ALLIANCE FOR WATER JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

According to a new Rand Corporation study, bad water is a leading cause of child mortality in Gaza, and Gaza’s children are facing a deadly health epidemic of unprecedented proportions.
Babies in Gaza are suffering from dehydration, vomiting, life-threatening diarrhea, and fever. In recent months doctors report sharp rises in gastroenteritis, kidney disease, anemia, pediatric cancer, marasmus (a disease of severe malnutrition), and “blue baby syndrome.” Medical journals document increased infant mortality and an “alarming magnitude” of stunting, which can affect brain development.
Palestinian Ministry of Health figures show a “doubling” of diarrheal disease of epidemic levels, as well as spikes in salmonella and even typhoid fever caused by fecal contamination (110 million litres of raw and poorly treated sewage flows into the Mediterranean every day).
Medical experts blame Gaza’s scarce and contaminated drinking water, due to Israel’s repeated bombing of water and sewage infrastructure, and Israel’s economic siege of Gaza. 97% of Gaza’s drinking-water wells are far below minimal standards for human consumption.
For example, in Gaza’s densely-packed Shati refugee camp, 87,000 refugees and their families—expelled from their towns and villages by Israel in 1948—live in half a square kilometre of cement-block structures along the Mediterranean. The aquifer water is undrinkable, so families spend up to half their income on the desalinated water trucked from Gaza’s unregulated wells. Up to 70% of the desalinated water is prone to fecal contamination.
Sources for fact: AlJazeera

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