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Gazans Are Being Poisoned Slowly As Result Of Israel’s Long Siege

Besieged Gaza (Palestine Online)- International organizations have warned that the Gaza population is slowly poisoned as 97 percent of the water in the coastal enclave has become undrinkable as a result of long years of tight Israeli blockade.

This came in a joint oral statement released on Monday by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH) during the 48th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).

“Euro-Med Monitor and GIWEH would like to draw your attention to the severe deterioration in the Gaza Strip’s water security, mainly due to Israel’s prolonged siege, punctuated by periodic military assaults,” a spokesman for the two organizations said, addressing HRC.

“It is now well established that 97 percent of Gaza’s water has become contaminated, a situation made substantially worse by an acute electricity crisis that stifles the operation of water wells and sewage treatment plants, leading about 80 percent of Gaza’s untreated sewage to be discharged into the sea while 20 percent seeps into underground water.”

“Further compounding this water crisis is Israel’s attacks on Gaza last May that substantially pounded the enclave’s already decaying infrastructure, especially in the water sector.”

“This water crisis presents a serious threat to the beleaguered population’s health, where recent data indicates that about a quarter of the diseases spread in Gaza are caused by water pollution, and 12 percent of the deaths of young children and infants are linked to intestinal diseases related to contaminated water.”

“[Therefore], a civilian population caged in a toxic slum from birth to death is forced to witness the slow poisoning of their children and loved ones by the water they drink and likely the soil in which they harvest, endlessly, with no change in sight.”

“There is no possible justification whatsoever for this situation. It is incumbent on the occupying authority and international community to fully guarantee Gazans’ right to water security,” the spokesman concluded the statement.

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